Kmart’s blue light special in the “World’s Borough” is going out for good, as the chain’s last Queens location in Middle Village will apparently shut down this fall.
The discount store located at 66-26 Metropolitan Ave. will be closing its doors for good at the end of October, according to a spokesperson for Rentar Development, which owns the space where the Kmart is located, above the Metro Mall.
Rentar’s spokesperson told QNS on Monday that Sears Holdings Corporation, which operates Kmart and Sears, notified them last week of the Middle Village Kmart’s impending demise. The store’s lease was set to expire in January 2019, and Sears Holdings further informed Rentar Development that it would not be renewed.
The Middle Village Kmart closing marks the end of Sears Holdings’ presence in Queens. The department store chain, suffering from years of sales declines, shut down the Rego Park Sears last year, and is closing the Kmart location in Rosedale this September. Both closures were part of nationwide purges of Sears and Kmart stores as the corporation continues to retool and reinvent itself.
Locally, the Middle Village Kmart was the fourth different department store to occupy that space since Rentar Plaza opened in 1972. It was preceded by the long-defunct Robert Hall, Times Square Store (TSS) and Caldor.
The Kmart’s longtime neighbor at Rentar Plaza, Toys R Us, closed down earlier this year, a few months before the nationwide toy store chain bit the dust due to bankruptcy.
“We are already talking to a lot of potential tenants” for both the Kmart and Toys R Us spaces at Rentar Plaza, the Rentar Development spokesperson told QNS, although the firm declined to reveal the identities of the interested parties.
When contacted by QNS on the phone, a Kmart representative confirmed that the store was closing in October, but indicated that Rentar Development had intentions of consolidating the Kmart and Toys R Us spaces into a single retail venue.
Rentar Development’s spokesperson said that rumor was not true, adding that the company isn’t certain what’s going to occupy both spaces.
QNS also reached out to Sears Holdings’ corporate office for comment and is awaiting a response.
This story was updated on July 16 at 3 p.m.