.

Kmart is Not Closing in Hillsborough

Yes, it’s true. Kmart in Hillsborough will be remain open!

Yes, it’s true. Kmart in Hillsborough will be remaining open! And it has me cheering!

Hillsborough's Business Advocate Gene Strupinsky spoke with Maureen Doherty, the Hillsborough Kmart store manager, on Wednesday, and she has confirmed that there are no plans to close the in Hillsborough.

“She is aware of the closing rumors which she believes are the , particularly in the South, with Florida being the hardest hit,” said Strupinsky. “However, no stores have been closed in their Northeast region, and there are no plans to close the Kmart in Hillsborough.”

"To emphasize this point, she [the store manager] identified several recent significant capital projects that were done in Hillsborough," continued Strupinsky.

Strupinsky and Doherty agreed to keep in touch with each other about any new developments regarding the Hillsborough Kmart location.

Why am I so happy? Well, Kmart is convenient for me to get to. Some of my more recent purchases from the Hillsborough store include a child’s fishing rod and tackle box for my daughter, and a pair of fuzzy socks for her that we could not find anywhere else, and she wanted badly. Funny, I actually bought my daughter’s first ball at that Kmart store when she was a year old–we still have it. It’s a soft, round, squishy baseball, ideal for toddlers.

Additionally, I really didn’t want to see Kmart leave and that storefront go empty.  I want the people there to keep their jobs and for the store to continue to add value to our local economy.

Call me strange, but do you know that I’ve never set foot in a Walmart store?  It’s true. The only time I’ve ever purchased anything from Walmart is online. I am just too lazy to drive to their stores in Manville and Branchburg. And as for Target, yes, I’ve been to the one in Bridgewater, but it’s not as convenient to get to as the Kmart on Route 206.

And do you know what’s enticed me to start shopping at the Hillsborough Kmart more often now? You’re going to laugh–remember that story in the news about the Kmart “layaway angels” all over the country? I found it completely touching that strangers would walk into Kmarts and be so altruistic and giving by paying off other peoples’ layaway accounts so they could bring home clothes and toys for their families over the holidays, without worrying about how they were going to pay for them. (Walmart started a layaway program just recently, and Target also has one, but Kmart was the store of choice where these charitable people paid off others’ accounts.)

Kudos to Kmart!

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Bruce Radowitz January 12, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Great news for the town. But I do need to correct two points. First, the North Plainfield K-Mart, Route 22 between Rock and West End Avenues, closed last year, with no advance notice to the employees. I know this because I represented one of them in another matter. Secondly, as noted before by me, while the store manager might say today there are no plans to close the store, my experience tells me that the Store Manager might be one of the last to know. Shocking, but true.
Laura Madsen January 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM
As of 12/27/11, this is the official list of Kmart store closings. The Hillsborough location is not on this list. http://www.searsholdings.com/about/122711_close.htm Of course, last minute announcements can occur with anything, but so far, so good - and it's open if you went there today. I certainly hope that a store manager would not be the last to know such information.
Curt Carnes January 12, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I agree with Bruce, my experience says the very same thing. The real question that should have been ask is -- “Is you store considered under-performing, by corporate standards?” Because it is clear in all of Sear’s Holding’s news releases they are closing the under-performing stores. Bear in mind, too. Sears Holding has only announced 80 store locations from a list that could reach 120. Again, this is not to say the store is being closed. I hope it isn’t, but again agreeing with Bruce, I think it is a little premature to make that comment!
Laura Madsen January 12, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Time will tell, but I'd like to think I can rely on a store manager and township official to be very good barometers of what's going on with a local business.
Steve January 12, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I hope Sears does something to update their Kmart stores. I have only been there twice since moving to Hillsborough. When I want something it is not the first store I think of going to.
Curt Carnes January 12, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Laura, I don’t want to offend you or anyone else, but I think you are placing a little too much trust in the Township Officials. Not that there is any thing wrong with them. I know most of them, and I think they do a damn good job. However, it is not the governments belly wick to decide if Kmart stays open or not. Township officials are here to run the town, not Kmart. Sears Holdings will decide to keep that store open if it is making an acceptable profit, and they will close it if it is not. Frankly it is that simple, and frankly Sear’s holdings doesn’t really care one bit what our town’s Business Advocate, a TC member, or even the Mayor says. At the EOD Sears holdings is in business to make money, not to make the good people of Hillsborough happy! I know that sounds gruff, but it is the reality of the situation, regardless if your glass is half full or half empty!
Curt Carnes January 12, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Laura, I’m not picking on you, but how is it you’ve gone from complaining about the Mayor’s statement about signs, and how unfriendly our town is to business, to now saying -- "township official to be very good barometers of what's going on with a local business?” What made you change your mind?
Laura Madsen January 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Good question, Curt! When I wrote my initial blog on 12/29, I was disheartened because I was looking at commercial vacancies and store closings from an uninformed point of view. I honestly had no idea that our town had a business advocate, or how all of the current town projects going on all tie in together and will hopefully bring about some economic prosperity to the area. Now that I have taken the past week and a half to speak with some town officials, I have learned some things. The ones I have spoken to are very informed. I made this judgement after quite a few conversations with them. Therefore, I'm putting my faith in the people whose jobs are to look out for our town's well-being and who do speak to business owners and landlords. I definitely don't know more than they do. So that's where my statement about them being good barometers comes from.
BDVideo January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM
I'm rooting for ol' Kmart. It was my first job, during the summer of 1984. That was the big year for Transformers and occasional shipments of Cabbage Patch Dolls. We'd sell about fifty of them in about ten minutes. I saved up and bought my Commodore 64 for $190. But nobody wanted to buy their clothes from there or Woolworth, or risk being mocked by our high school classmates. Sentimentality aside, I always wondered how that Kmart has held on. I go there sometimes because it's closer to home than other stores. I hope it hangs in there.
Ellyce Orecchio January 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I am happy to hear that Kmart is staying. We don't need another vacant building in the Township. Maybe if we patronized the store more often, Sears/Kmart would be willing to invest a little more in updating/upgrading the store. One thing for sure, I never have a problem getting a parking space. It's partially our choice how long they will stay, let's make it work. In this economy, the more people in the workforce the better.
Laura Madsen January 13, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Hi Ellyce, my sentiments exactly. Plus, every business owner I know thinks about investing more in their store/equipment/inventory when the patrons keep coming, and come frequently. Gotta make it worth their while, you know? It also lets them know what's in demand. Maybe everyone should be lazy like me and take the shorter drive to Kmart than go out of town to their competitors. ;)
Curt Carnes January 13, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Yes Ellyce is precisely correct, it is the Free Market, the you and me and everyone else who votes every day with our dollars, whom decide if the store will stay open or not.
Curt Carnes January 13, 2012 at 01:57 PM
More Bad News For Jersey? Novartis just announced they are cutting about 2,000 US jobs. 1,600 in sales and 350 in US Corporate Headquarters, which is located in East Hanover NJ.
BDVideo January 14, 2012 at 03:43 AM
"About 90 of these jobs are in New Jersey, the company said." http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2012/01/east_hanover-based_novartis_to.html But then, check this out! "Novo Nordisk breaks ground in Plainsboro" http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2011/10/novo_nordisk_breaks_ground_in.html
Frank February 25, 2012 at 03:02 AM
The Hillsborough Kmart is on the new list of 24 stores that will be closing. I feel bad for the store manager, guess she was the last to know.
Laura Madsen February 25, 2012 at 03:16 AM
That's sad. I'm sorry to see another store in town close. Hopefully another business will be able to thrive in that location soon
Steve February 25, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I don't think it has anything to do with Hillsborough but Sears Holdings Corp failure to keep their stores current. This article came out today: Sears to 'Unload' 1,200 Stores? http://news.yahoo.com/sears-unload-1-200-stores-175317277--abc-news.html Hopefully a stronger anchor store will move into that strip mall and help bring traffic to the other smaller stores. Here is the updated list> http://www.searsmedia.com/tools/02232012_close.html
Laura Madsen February 25, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I agree, I think this issue has more to do with what the parent company has going on than anything local. Here's one reason to head over to that plaza, though.... my daughter and I tried out the burgers over at Riverside Grill last week and they are amazing! I tried the "Dirty Jersey Burger" and I was in heaven. It's a handmade big burger topped with pork roll, egg, and cheese on a hamburger roll. It's like the best of Jersey on a bun. It was worth every bit of calories. We split the fries with gravy (awesome!), and the shakes are light years better than what McDonalds ever offered. You can order your burgers any way you want with a list of toppings that's really long to choose from, and they have tons of unique burger specialties (hot dogs, cheese steaks, too).
Pen Man February 25, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Another Great Job by Hillsborough’s Gene Strupinsky, the man we the Hillsborough tax payers pay $70,000 or $80,000 a year to be the Hillsborough’s Business Advocate! This closing coming after Gene told the entire town, “Our K-Mart isn’t closing,” and then wanted patted on the back for his hard, hard efforts!” When will the rest of this town wake up and smell the nasty stench of burnt coffee this purely political patronage job of Business Advocate is? Hillsborough is getting up there with the already well known political patronage jokes like the Port Authority, the Garden State Parkway, and the Passaic Valley Sewer Treatment Plant! Gene is a chemical engineer, who retired, or maybe was ask to retire, or maybe just kicked out of a major New Jersey chemical company, who landed on his feet right here in Hillsborough, because he has friends in the right places! What does Gene do for our money? He’s a party planner for a few local business owners. That’s right, we the tax payers pay him $70,000 or $80,000 a year plus benefits to host a couple parties a year for the local elite, most of whom are the specially invited members of the Hillsborough Rotary, or members of the HEBDC, better know as just one more place your property tax money goes that most of us don’t even know about. Maybe Gene’s buddy Mr. I make the tough decisions Frank, can fire a few more police officers and give Gene a little bump in salary to $100,000 for a job well done?
Laura Madsen February 25, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I just wrote a follow-up blog. Here is the link: http://hillsborough.patch.com/blog_posts/kmart-is-closing-in-hillsborough

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