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Ocean State Job Lot to open in Elizabethtown at the old Kmart along the 1600 block of S. Market St. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.

A closeout retailer that recently opened a store at the former Willow Street Kmart intends to open a store at the former Kmart in Elizabethtown, which means all six of Lancaster County’s former Kmarts would be occupied by new tenants.

Ocean State Job Lot plans to buy the former Elizabethtown Kmart building at 1605 Market St. in the Market Street Square shopping center, according to Kevin Nassimi, vice president of leasing for Nassimi Realty, which owns the shopping center.

Like its Willow Street store, which opened Aug. 25, Ocean State Job Lot would occupy part of the former Elizabethtown Kmart building. It would open this fall and occupy 55,000 square feet of the roughly 95,000-square-foot store, according to Nassimi.

No one from Ocean State Job Lot responded to requests for comment about plans for the new store but documents posted on construction database Construction Journal show the retailer solicited construction bids for the renovation project in May. The cost was estimated at $5 million.

Ocean State Job Lot sells household goods, clothing, pet supplies and seasonal merchandise. Its Willow Street location is its first in Lancaster County. It has some 150 stores in the Northeast. The store’s name is derived from Rhode Island’s official nickname, “The Ocean State,” and “Job Lot,” which means a miscellaneous group of sale items.

Lancaster County's Kmarts: What happened, what's next for 6 former retail stores

Known for its “blue light specials,” Kmart began closing its Lancaster County locations in 2015.

The nationwide retailer opened its first county store in 1970 at Fruitville Pike and West Roseville Road in Manheim Township. The company had previously operated stores in Lancaster Shopping Center in Manheim Township and in downtown Lancaster under its prior name, S.S. Kresge. Kmart’s local presence peaked in 1992 when it opened two new stores, giving it half a dozen in Lancaster County.

But fierce competition from other discounters as well as e-commerce merchants led to a bankruptcy filing and several rounds of store closings, beginning with the 2015 closure of the East Lampeter Township Kmart in East Towne Center and ending in April 2021 when the Willow Street store closed.

However, the spots Kmart once occupied in suburban shopping centers around the county have not remained idle for long. For example, the East Lampeter Township Kmart was mostly reoccupied within two months by Gabe’s, a York-based discount retailer.

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