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Kmart Manager Delivers Emotional Farewell During Store's Final Closing

"I am the man I am today because of the people I have met here at Kmart."

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    Kmart Manager Delivers Emotional Final Page at Pa. Store

     Joshua Englert spent 18 years working at a Pittsburgh-area Kmart. But with the bankruptcy filing of the discount retailer's parent company, Englert and his colleagues had to say goodbye to their store. So he delivered one final emotional message to faithful shoppers.

    (Published Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018)

    For 18 years, the Kmart in McMurray, Pennsylvania, was like home for Joshua Englert.

    He was 16 years old when he first started helping shoppers at the discount retailer's location near Pittsburgh. But last Sunday, the store's BlueLight went dark and the last sale was made.

    To thank shoppers and the staff, Englert, now a store manager, dialed into the intercom one last time and delivered an emotional goodbye.

    "I wanted to take this opportunity not to sell you 40-cent plaid skirts or 5-cent panties, but to instead thank you for supporting a lifetime of memories," Englert said as he choked up.

    "I am the man I am today because of the people I have met here at Kmart," he added.

    Englert recorded the message on his smartphone and posted the video to facebook. The reaction was huge with the video garnering more than 100,000 views and 1,000 reactions as of Saturday.

    "I did not think I was going to be choked up like that," Englert told NBC News in an interview Saturday.

    "I always use the intercom to announce specials and make sales announcement and I’m sort of known for adding some fun to them, so I thought on the last day the associates would appreciate me saying something sentimental. I didn’t know what I was going to say five minutes before I said it," Englert said.

    Kmart has battled tectonic changes in the retail landscape over the past two decades. Once the second-largest discount retailer, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002 and merged with Sears in 2004. The tumult resulted in the shedding of stores like Englert's location.

    A second bankruptcy filing this month means even more Kmart and Sears stores are being shuttered.

    Englert said while the community is sad to see their local store close, they "understand the business of it all."

    As for Englert, he's started looking for a new job, but the people he bonded with at Store #4770 will always have a special place in his heart.

    "We were definitely a family," he said. "Those relationships, that’s all what keeps us together is each other."