What Bethlehem Needs in the old Kmart on Linden Street: Whole Foods Market

The old Kmart on Linden Street in Bethlehem Township has been vacant for years. Across the street, WalMart and Home Depot locations thrive, while the 3843 Linden St. building that once housed Kmart sits vacant, with barriers out front to block part of its parking lot.

The former Kmart, which was for awhile a “Sears Essentials” store (a name that didn’t inform shoppers of what it actually sold) is a good location for something different: Whole Foods Market. The location could also serve as a pick-up point for Amazon.com Inc. deliveries. The online retailer bought Whole Foods in 2017.

The closest Whole Foods Market is west of Allentown. The old Kmart is near affluent neighborhoods north Bethlehem, Bethlehem Township, Hanover Township and Lower Nazareth. The kind of people who will pay extra for natural and organic groceries, wine and housewares, are within a 10-mile drive.

Amazon has been expanding into physical locations, and the dreary strip mall just southwest of the intersection of routes 22 and 191 is ideal for expensive groceries and a place to pick up deliveries.

 

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