(WBRE/WYOU) — Pretty soon only one K-Mart will be left open in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. And surprisingly, the lone survivor had to close its doors for some hard times in the past.
The K-Mart in Edwardsville was almost completely taken out by a natural disaster less than a decade ago. But while its surrounding sister stores are closing, this one will remain open.
There was plenty of foot traffic going into K-Mart in Edwardsville on a Saturday afternoon.
“Everybody loves K-Mart. It’s like a McDonald’s. Hey, we come here to have fun and pretty much shop,” Ty Thompson of Kingston said.
But that fun is stopping for all of the other K-Marts across northeastern and central Pennsylvania. Just days ago, the department store chain announced the only other three K-Marts in our region, including the one near Wilkes-Barre, are closing early next year. The Edwardsville store will be the last one left in the area.
“It’s sad that the other ones are closing, but this is the one I go to anyways,” Thompson said.
This same K-Mart has dealt with flooding through the years, including in 2011 when it was all but destroyed by Mother Nature. The entire Mark Plaza was under 12 feet of floodwater. But the department store was rebuilt from top to bottom and the following year, reopened its doors to customers.
“This store has been through a lot when it flooded and for it to still be standing, along with Long John Silver’s, it’s amazing,” Veronica Bolsar of Edwardsville said.
“It’s a beautiful thing. It’s held on,” Thompson said.
Now as the soon-to-be-last local K-Mart standing, frequent shoppers hope the store doesn’t run out of its nine lives any time soon.
“They’re reasonable and I would like to have this store stay open,” Cassandra Cooper of Edwardsville said.
While there are no plans to close the Edwardsville K-Mart, we know the one in Wilkes-Barre Township will close by the end of February. Nearly 100 Sears and K-Marts are targeted to close throughout the country.