Wow, its the end of an era INDEED🙁 We ALL grew up with Kmart stores in our lives🙁 We all heard about the struggles when the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in 2002. But some stores can rebound or reinvent themselves! Are we blaming Jeff Besos for this one?? So sad to them go! With more Kmarts closing in South Lake Tahoe and Watsonville, soon the store in Grass Valley (north of Sacramento) will be the ONLY KMART LEFT in the state of California. There are only a few dozen Kmarts now left in the United States, although don't trust the Kmart store locater to give you an accurate count. It's still listing permanently shuttered locations as open🙁 Kmart began life in the late 1800s as a five-and-dime store in Tennessee. Its first Kmart-branded store opened in 1962 in San Fernando. At one time, it merged with the struggling Sears, and there were more than 3,500 stores in the United States.