By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 06, 2002 12:10 PM
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Kmart may be operating in Chapter 11 after filing for bankruptcy protection last month, but that doesn’t mean that the downscale store is unfashionable in New York’s very tony Hamptons. The aisles of the Bridgehampton branch remain as star-studded as ever, reports Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, which points to such loyal customers as Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and Christie Brinkley. The paper also reports that Martha Stewart’s spokesman wouldn’t say whether or not the domestic doyenne — who is one of the troubled chain’s biggest suppliers — shops there, but Kmart itself insists that she does. Even rival domestic diva B. Smith shops the Bridgehampton store, where she reportedly picks up cleaning supplies and jumbo rolls of paper towels. “Like everyone else” on the eastern tip of Long Island, Smith told the Journal, “you have to go there.” (Because of zoning restrictions, Kmart’s chief competitors, Wal-Mart and Target, are nowhere near the Hamptons.) The branch’s manager, Brian Wordell, told the Journal that the merchandise in his store is no different from that in other Kmarts across the country. But as “60 Minutes” creator and executive producer Don Hewitt, who picked up razors and toothbrushes last weekend and points to his $14.99 Kmart wristwatch with pride, told the Journal: “Why shop at Saks Fifth Avenue when you can shop at Kmart? It keeps you in touch with who you are.”