Year Established: 1899
Store Closures: 100+ branches*
Things just keep getting worse and worse for Kmart**. Once a serious competitor to the likes of Walmart and Target, Kmart’s sales began sinking in the late 1990s. The company found itself declaring bankruptcy in 2002 and forced to fire more than 30,000 employees. The company managed to rebrand itself the following year, tallying its first year-over-year increase by 2005 thanks to a merger with Sears.
But the rise of e-commerce proved to be a fatal blow for Kmart. By 2010 the store was shutting down dozens of locations, followed by seemingly endless liquidations and failed attempts to reboot their brand. Kmart filed Chapter 11 again in 2018, announcing that hundreds of stores would be closing immediately. Ahead of 2020, the company announced that at least another 100 locations will be closing for good – adding to the growing belief that Kmart’s days are all but numbered. A CNN report stated that by the end of 2021 just 48 Kmarts would still be in operation, “They’re closing stores where possible and listing virtually all of other locations with commercial real estate brokers.”