MANHATTAN – Traditional department stores have been in trouble for years and those economic woes caught up with a Manhattan Kmart, one of the last in New York City, on Sunday.
The Astor Place Kmart closed its doors for good. It had been one of the only large retail stores in the area for over two decades.
Customers on Tuesday peered through the windows of the shuttered store. Undressed mannequins stood clustered inside alongside empty shelves. Signs noting fixtures were for sale were in the windows.
Kmart locations across the country have closed in recent years. There are still two open Kmart locations in the Bronx.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday said he’d never been to the Manhattan Kmart.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in that area, because I went to NYU and I love that part of our city, and I go to Astor Place for my haircuts right there, down the street from that Kmart. But no, look, I think the bottom line is, as New York City’s coming back, you’re going to see all sorts of options made available to people,” he said. “You know, I think, in the end, people are going to constantly demand what they need and the economy and the business sector are going to respond to it. So, I can’t personally read too much into that. I think there’s going to be a lot of good – other good options for people.”