Kmart Katastrophe

Kmart Recently Filed for Bankruptcy Protection. Upset?

CAROL JENNINGS
Age 43
Resides Queens
Occupation Manager

Do you shop at Kmart? I used to browse through Kmart during my lunch hour, but I haven't gone much since the holidays. Actually, since the World Trade Center attacks, I've had a lot of other things on my mind.

Would you be sorry if it folded? Personally, no. Right now I'm really thinking that I want everything I do to be as productive and meaningful as possible.

What business would you hate to see close? It's actually an area that I love the most. It's 71st Street and Continental Avenue in Queens, where there are a lot of different restaurants and shops like Eddie Bauer and the Santa Fe Steakhouse. I love it there.


ALLAN TSAO
Age 19
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

Do you shop at Kmart? Yes. I buy lightbulbs there, and everyday appliances. As a college student, I'm always looking for bargains. And it's convenient.

Would you be sorry if it folded? Yes, because for a lot of people, it's a good and inexpensive place to shop. There aren't a whole lot of other stores that offer things at such low prices.

What business would you hate to see close? Toys 'R' Us. I like to get my toys there. I go to the Times Square store for GameCube or any new game system that comes along.


EDDIE TANNER
Age 41
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Porter

Do you shop at Kmart? Yes, sometimes. I thought it was a little strange when Kmart opened on Astor Place. If you're looking for low prices, you can find them in the stores on the Lower East Side. I work on Park Avenue and I always have to shop for my lunch the night before. For the price of a sandwich on Park Avenue, I can buy two sandwiches, a soda, and a bag of chips on the Lower East Side.

Would you be sorry if it folded? No, not at all.

What business would you hate to see close? Maria's, where I have breakfast after a late shift, the Rite Aid on Avenue D, and the bodega right near there where they make the best steak sandwich.


RONNIE ROSENSTEIN
Age 49
Resides Poughkeepsie, New York
Occupation Clerk

Do you shop at Kmart? Yes, I do. Not all these other outlets like Odd Job have what you need. Of course if you're not a real toothpaste connoisseur, you can always go to the 99-cent store.

Would you be sorry if it folded? It would be a pain in the neck if it closed.

What business would you hate to see close? Kmart. I just ate lunch there and it's a very good value. For $4.32, you get a meal that includes two side vegetables. Many of the members of my union have lunch at Kmart.


BRIAN DRUCKER
Age 33
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Designer

Do you shop at Kmart? Every once in a while. I grew up in Tennessee, where Kmart was kind of a freak show, but it outgrew that reputation and became a lot less cheesy. Kmart is still kind of crappy, but it's fun.

Would you be sorry if it folded? Yes. I associate it with comfort, and the big K stands for something. The same way Woolworth's did.

What business would you hate to see close? I'm sad about Coliseum Books, which just closed. I'd be sorry if the children's bookstore Books of Wonder closed.


FRED ABRAHAMS
Age 34
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Writer

Do you shop at Kmart? Have I? Yes. Do I? No. I have an inherently anti-corporate attitude. I grew up around the corner from the Astor Place Kmart. As a native New Yorker I'm particularly sensitive to the survival of small businesses.

Would you be sorry if it folded? I'd be indifferent. I do realize that it provides jobs and that Kmart offers cheap goods to people on a fixed income.

What business would you hate to see close? In general, cobblers. There's a beautiful one near me in Park Slope who had to leave his old place. He has a sign in his new place that says something like, "I'm the cobbler from Seventh Avenue." I think cobblers are the sign of the neighborhood. Everyone has to get their shoes fixed.


GENE WILLIAMS
Age 33
Resides Queens
Occupation Production artist

Do you shop at Kmart? Yes, mainly for what they have on sale and because it's convenient. I work near the big one at Astor Place. Actually, I think the 99-cent store is where it's at.

Would you be sorry if it folded? Yes, because it's so close to work, and because it was so unusual to have something like Kmart at Astor Place.

What business would you hate to see close? The Virgin Megastore at Union Square. The selection is good, and the staff knows their stuff.

 
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