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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Richmond VA: Broad Glenside Big Kmart [RIP]

(RIP) West Broad St Glenside Big Kmart
5432 Glenside Dr, Richmond, VA 23228

This large (~ 112,000 square foot) Big Kmart in Richmond Virginia survived for 35 years (surprisingly?), but ultimately closed in 2012, reducing Kmart's store presence in the Richmond-Petersburg area down to three. This location has the standard architecture of old Kmart locations, although interestingly it had two "Big-K" logos plastered on the lengthy facade during the mediocre remodel over a decade ago. The trending shopping area of Richmond has moved further west, to Short Pump, where there is a thriving open-air town center style mall, a Whole Foods and Trader Joes within a block of each other, and, of course, a Wal-Mart supercenter. Currently (2013), the site still is empty with no signs of activity, although Sears Holding no longer owns or leases the location, so it will be interesting to see what the developer will do to this place.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The chain's first area store opened in 1972 on Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway.The Glenside Drive store opened in 1977.
This is the third closing in the past six months of an area Kmart store. In May the company finished closing two of its area stores -- at 11003 Hull Street Road in Chesterfield County and at 6807 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond.


(Google photo)

(google photo of Richmond Big Kmart)

The sign is covered over with black, but you can still clearly see the Big Kmart logo. Photo taken 2013, months after the store closed for good.

Labelscars of the Big Kmart

The deserted site.


Friday, November 16, 2012

PA: Pittsburgh - McIntyre Square Big Kmart

Big Kmart #3895
7900 McKnight Rd
McIntyre Square
Pittsburgh PA

This 87,000 square foot Big Kmart store is in a large shopping strip mall along with Giant Eagle, Office Max, Stein Mart, Chuck E Cheeses, and other typical stores at the top of a hill in a busy Pittsburgh suburban environment, just 3.2 miles down the street from a Target. (Although, there is no Wal-Mart within a few miles, at least.) The signage is large and visible on top of the hill from busy McKnight Road, although the plaza itself is not visible as cars must turn onto the plaza entrance via a side street to go up the hill. It appears there also used to be an Auto Center at this Kmart. The signage remains old, with the street sign being the pre-2000's Kmart logo, and the main facade being the early 2000's "Big-Kmart" logo. You will see in the photos below the layout of the shopping plaza, the traditional signage inside the store, the appliance section, and most excitingly, the cool dedicated Pet Foods / pet supplies section (not an aisle, but an action mini-store!). I thought that was nice. The store overall is pretty average (meaning nice for a Kmart, but not anything like a Target) and representative of a suburban Big Kmart. Hope you enjoy the photos!
The largely deserted and vast store parking lot on a weekday night before store closing. Too much of America has been paved over due to unnecessarily large parking lots...

An interesting (but dated) Big-Kmart facade, and the rest is the typical Kmart store look.

Olan Mills portrait studio - not sure how these make profit?

Some attempts with fresh signage in the clothing section, but mostly the old sale signs and carousels.





Very interesting - a pet section!



Post-Sears merger: appliances. Not quite the vast synergies from the merger, but just a meager step.



More of the cool pet section!




Old-school traditional font for the Layaway.


Not quite a Target: empty or poorly covered shelving.



a fairly typical Kmart electronics section




Oh the infamous fridge. Lots of milk in this one though!




Same old (and old) cash registers...


A typical Big-Kmart pharmacy

Target and Wal-Mart do a much better job of reducing that awkward area behind the cash registers...

Note the "Thank you for shopping Big Kmart" lettering.


The garden shop is pretty quiet in the winter.

Old-school logo on the street sign, which is on top of a hill.


No store directory here, rather, just urging you to check out the Pantry, which still pales in comparison to Target's P-Fresh foods, much less Wal-Mart supercenters.

The view upon entering the store. Not bad!


You can see how the street sign is on top of the hill and the plaza itself is not visible.

A random Pittsburgh photo - a Taiwanese restaurant! On Forbes Ave.
Layout of the strip mall (shopping plaza) - the Kmart is one of the corner anchors.
Please consider donating to charities such as Tzu Chi Compassion Relief USA. (www.us.tzuchi.org )

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