The Kmart store in Elizabethtown closed Sunday, about two weeks earlier than the timetable the company had given previously.
The shutdown ends the discount retailer’s 37 years in Elizabethtown, initially at 1278 S. Market St., and since 1993, at 1605 S. Market St.
With the move to Market Street Square, Kmart nearly doubled the size of its Elizabethtown store to 94,000 square feet and boosted its payroll to 150 employees.
It’s not known how many employees that store had when it closed or why the store closed ahead of schedule. Kmart had said in September that the Elizabethtown store would close in mid December.
Company spokesman Larry Costello declined to disclose the number of workers affected by the closing or to explain the accelerated closing date.
With the Elizabethtown store going dark, the ailing chain has three stores remaining in Lancaster County — in Ephrata, Willow Street and Columbia. But Kmart has announced the Ephrata store will close by February.
Kmart was once a retail powerhouse, coming to Lancaster in 1970 by opening a store on Fruitville Pike. It continued to grow here through the 1980s, eventually operating six stores in the county.
But competition from other bricks-and-mortar discounters, most notably Walmart, then from online merchants, led by Amazon, shoved Kmart into an irreversible retreat.
An East Towne Mall store closed in 2015, the Fruitville Pike store in 2017.
Kmart's parent company, Sears Holdings, entered bankruptcy in 2018 and has closed waves of stores, including the Sears at Park City.