Kings Closing on Friday

Just in Kings getting some last minute Holiday food. Several employees confirmed that Kongs is closing the store on Friday. The owners couldn’t sell it. Acme wouldn’t buy it because there’s “no parking” I was told. 
the employees will be offered jobs at other locations. 
No notice to the town and some employees hadn’t been told. 
Not good for our residents and other stores in the Village. 

Another bad day in a challenged year. 


I was in Kings this morning.  The store was more crowded than usual for the 7 am to 8 am time slot for seniors and those at high risk.  Nobody said anything about the store closing at the end of this week. 


I just called and spoke to a representative in our Kings.  She said that the store is closing on Monday and Tuesday for inventory, but will reopen.  They will not close the store completely until the majority of the inventory has been sold, and during that time, basics like dairy foods will continue to be delivered.  She guessed that the store will shut down sometime in January, but sooner if they clear the inventory.  


Hooray for facts!  


Offering staff jobs at other locations is lovely on the surface, but if they don’t have transportation to get to the store where they are offered work, it’s all but an empty offer. (Love, The Grinch...)


Yes, I had a conversation with a cashier last night, and he said that he'd have to think twice about taking a job elsewhere as being able to walk to our Kings was a major positive about the job for him.  It seems like a harsh business decision to shut the store down just before Christmas, as according to the cashier, that's what the Kings management intends to do.  He said that the sell-off of inventory will take place rapidly, and Village Green today supported his comment.  They are saying December 11th will be the last day for the store.  


There is an employee whose job seems to be bringing back carts from wherever they were left. I assumed he was "challenged". I hope he will be OK. 


Now I know for sure: 2020 has been and continues to be a year of bad news. question First the Post Office, now Kings, how long before Maplewood’s theatre site becomes available? Another high rent condo on the drawing boards? 

Perhaps the theatre could, with its historic past, be spared the wrecking ball? 


mtierney said:

Now I know for sure: 2020 has been and continues to be a year of bad news.
question
First the Post Office, now Kings, how long before Maplewood’s theatre site becomes available? Another high rent condo on the drawing boards? 

Perhaps the theatre could, with its historic past, be spared the wrecking ball? 

 Did I miss something? what is wrong with the local post office?


Mail distribution is now through Union which has lead to all sorts of mail delivery issues, especially in 2020.


mtierney said:

Now I know for sure: 2020 has been and continues to be a year of bad news.
question
First the Post Office, now Kings, how long before Maplewood’s theatre site becomes available? Another high rent condo on the drawing boards? 

Perhaps the theatre could, with its historic past, be spared the wrecking ball? 

 Absolutely.   When it goes on the market, just buy it.  Easy. 


I'm not sure why anyone would be speculating about the theater building when there is absolutely zero evidence that anyone is planning to sell it or tear it down. 


Trump probably tweeted something about it !


I wonder who the contending supermarkets would be. Seem like Aldi would be around the right size - but I think parking will always be a concern.


aldi does tends to be small, but may be Lidl.  I went to the one on 22 once, but its not a convenient place, if I am going on 22, i want to make a lot of stops.  I would hit Lidl 1st....and wouldn't want to buy perishables since I wouldn't be going right home...not worth it to make a separate trip.

..and there is another foreign based grocer I think is expanding I think.

i was thinking of Weis, but that may be bigger.


soda said:

How about Aron's? Too Jewish?

https://www.aronswestorange.com/

-s.

 I would think it's kinda close for them to open a second location.


A Fresh Market would be a nice addition to the village.


The only NJ Weis I’ve been to is the Flanders one, and it’s a great store, but it’s enormous. Probably larger than Stop & Shop in SO. I’m a big Fresh Market fan, too, but the one in Livingston didn’t last long at all. 


stateguy said:

Just in Kings getting some last minute Holiday food. Several employees confirmed that Kongs is closing the store on Friday. The owners couldn’t sell it. Acme wouldn’t buy it because there’s “no parking” I was told. 
the employees will be offered jobs at other locations. 
No notice to the town and some employees hadn’t been told. 
Not good for our residents and other stores in the Village. 

Another bad day in a challenged year. 

 Why would they tell the town?  their obligation is to the landlord and their employees.  I am sure they would not want to tell the customers till it is  final, otherwise they might not be able to sell off their inventory.   

Even though the store was profitable, it was still tiny as far as supermarkets go and unless they are selling mostly their own brand it is almost impossible for a small market to survive.   And if the other Trader Joes was not so close they would be the perfect option.  

Just a matter of time before the landlord will ask the town for a tax abatement so they can make improvements to the property to attract a new tenant(s).  


shouldn't the thread title be corrected at this point?


We've been in town for 26 years. Curious: What was Kings before it was Kings? Asking the real old-timers.  cheese


According to Susan Newberry of the Durant Hedden House, posting on NextDoor:

So far the research shows that the Maplewood store opened in 1942, run by the Bildner family. They sold it to Marks and Spencer in 1988. It then went on to other corporate owners. The store always did well for its square footage.


Kings was closed yesterday and today. According to a window sign everything will be selling at 50% off starting tomorrow. Sounds like closing date will be very soon.                                                                     As to the history of the store - I've lived in Maplewood for over 80 years. I can remember walking through the village on the way home from junior high. That would be in the 2nd World War years. I honestly don't think Kings was there. If you look at a picture of the store you can see a  building in back. I remember a few smaller buildings there. One was a fabric store. It was a different time and sewing was popular. They would have a sale once a year and there would be a line outside. The name escapes me.. There were basic stores in town - a few butcher shops, 2 bakeries, Strubbes,great homemade ice cream,a 5 and 10(not the more recent one),etc, What they didn't have were restaurants- there were just 2 ,one by the movie theater and one on  Highland Place.No pizza. Also a few pharmacies,a hardware store,lots of beauty parlors and quite a few small realtor shops.The stationery store that is no more was there forever as was the movie theater. There was a super market for just a few years around where Sirota's is now. Super markets were a new thing then.  Of course stores keep changing,even more so today.



Hi, Galileo -- How wonderful that you've enjoyed Maplewood enough to live here for decades.  I think you're probably right that Kings wasn't around during the WWII years.  I found a trove of Bildner Family archives at Rutgers that includes this paragraph:
  The Marketing and Sales folders are subdivided into
Advertising, Sales and Promotions, Store Openings and Reference. The
advertisements and sales circulars consist of seasonal advertisements,
special promotions and contests for Kings and Packards (spanning from
1950-1975 with gaps, 1982-1983, 1991, 1996). The earliest are reduced copies
of the advertising circulars, which were removed from binders during the
processing of this collection (1951-1952). However, many are full-page
advertisements, which appeared in local papers in New Jersey (in boxes 62
and 63). Also included in the ads are notices of the grand opening of Kings
in East Orange (February 6, 1952), Maplewood (September 1961), Oakwood Mall
(April 1966) and in Chatham (January 1975), recipes for holiday meals
(1959-1962), a poem commemorating Memorial Day (1961), and a series of ads
featuring employees (With Love from Kings, 1973-1975). 

http://www2.scc.rutgers.edu/ead/manuscripts/bildnerf.html

So this suggests that Kings opened in Maplewood in September of 1961.  


There also was a Kings in South Orange on Valley Street close to where Toro Loco is. I think this was prior to the Maplewood store. Maplewood Kings was open way before the 1960's. I was a customer then.


Galileo, thank you for sharing these memories.  Here's the 1949 Sanborn map of the village, showing what you described of the site where Kings is now.  Sadly no store names, but a few notes of what goods the store sold in a few cases.  


Hmmm, Galileo.  Could the store have moved from one location to the one it's in now?  



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