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September 25, 2023

Kmart in Watsonville closing doors in August

WATSONVILLE—The Kmart store at 1702 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville will permanently close its doors on Aug. 22, the company announced through a publicity agency on Tuesday.

The store will begin to wrap up business beginning Thursday.

The announcement did not contain any further information. Transformco, the Illinois-based company that owns Kmart, did not respond to a request for comment by 2pm on Tuesday.

Fernando Muñoz, whose family owns nearby Taqueria Mi Tierra II, says the announcement came as no surprise. The store never fully embraced online retail, he says, and never added a grocery section like its competitors Walmart and Target.

Furthermore, the aging store was never upgraded, Muñoz says.

It’s not clear what business will occupy the property once Kmart vacates it. Muñoz says that several have expressed interest, and expressed hope that a major retailer such as Costco or Walmart might move in.

“That would create a lot of local careers and keep local dollars local,” he said. 

Kmart’s Scotts Valley location closed in February 2020, and Transformco sold that property to Target this year.

[An earlier version of this story misidentified the owner of the Kmart property. — Editor]


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