The giant former Kmart on South Park Avenue in Hamburg will be empty no more.
Gabe's, a West Virginia-based off-price chain, will open its first two New York stores in that space and in the former Hobby Lobby at Dick Road and George Urban Boulevard in Cheektowaga. The company is shooting for a summer opening at both locations. The chain has signed leases to anchor the Town Hall Plaza in Hamburg and the Urbandale Plaza in Cheektowaga.
Eric Recoon, vice president of development and leasing at Benderson Development, said the company has been trying to recruit the chain for some time and is "very excited to be bringing Gabe's to Western New York." Recoon thinks it will be a perfect fit for local consumers who are price-conscious shoppers.
"Their ever-changing selection should be very appealing to local shoppers in Cheektowaga, Hamburg and beyond," he said.
Gabe's has been compared to a larger, less expensive TJ Maxx or Burlington, and is known for carrying name brands such as Nike, Guess and Betsey Johnson.
It sells deeply discounted clothing, home goods, footwear, electronics, pet supplies, beauty and wellness items, and snacks. New shipments arrive several times per week.
Gabe's is also known for its Unbelievable Rewards program. Shoppers accumulate one point per dollar, and receive $5 off every $50 spent.
The closest location is in Erie, Pa.
The former Kmart store on South Park Avenue closed in 2003, despite an offer of tax and rent incentives from Hamburg to keep the store open. It has been vacant ever since.