End of an era: California's last Kmart officially closing

A sign hangs above a Kmart store on August 24, 2017 in Elmhurst, Illinois.
A sign hangs above a Kmart store on August 24, 2017 in Elmhurst, Illinois. Photo credit Scott Olson/Getty Images

Ending with a sigh instead of a gasp, the last Kmart location in California is closing.

The Grass Valley Kmart was the single remaining location in the state after others recently closed, including one in South Lake Tahoe and one in Watsonville just this past summer.

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Located at 111 West McKnight Way, a part of the McKnight Crossing Shopping Center, the Kmart will soon house a Target, confirmed Monday as reported by local outlet The Union.

A formerly bustling chain popular with bargain shoppers, Kmart was founded in the late 19th century in Tennessee, according to reporting by SFGATE. In 1962, the first Kmart-branded store opened in San Fernando, California.

For decades, the chain was successful, growing to thousands of locations across the country.

But starting in 2000, after a series of business missteps, including filing for bankruptcy and merging with another flailing retailer, Sears, Kmart has dwindled to just a few dozen locations nationwide, as reported by SFGATE.

In Grass Valley, some are looking forward to the shift from Kmart to Target.

"I think that it would dramatically help out, and fill a much-needed gap," said Grass Valley Mayor Ben Aguilar in an interview with The Union.

Aguilar had fond memories of going to the store as a kid growing up in the '80s. But it didn’t last.

"It was a very bustling store back in the day, and it really dramatically shifted into something very different over the years," he said.