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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Columbia Closing

This is a nice blog post with pictures of a Kmart store closing down in 2009 in Columbia, SC

Here's one (old) with several Iowa Kmart pictures

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mesa, AZ Kmart

Well, so originally the idea for this blog was to post original photos of a tour Kmart stores that this blog team visits. However, we think we're going to expand to include more "commentary" posts, company news and press releases (like the previous fashion Look Book post), and inclusion of photos drawn from around the 'web. Like this post. (Photos taken from Microsoft's Bing Maps Bird's Eye View and Google Maps, and this post from Holcombe of Hidalgo on Flickr)

Anyway, we were intrigued by this photo:
Yup. That's right. A Kmart and Target in the same shopping center. Maybe not so unusual for 2 to be in the same block. But next to each other? And without the Kmart shutting down??

Wow. so it is true! You can see below, a Kmart store (with fewer cars parked) is on the left, and a Target store (with more cars parked) is on the top right.

Not sure why the Kmart survived (still open as of Dec 2009) when strategy seemed to be close stores whenever competition moves in. However, it does look to be remodeled on the exterior, so perhaps that should teach management a lesson - remodeling is crucial for business! And, it seems a nice, remodeled Kmart CAN compete with a Target. Anyone know of any other places where a Kmart and a Walmart/Target are in the same plaza? If so, leave a comment and maybe we'll dedicate a post to you & your store! For example, there's one at 2150 S Douglas Hwy, Gillette, WY 82716 where the Big Kmart shares a parking lot with the Wal-Mart Supercenter. (What?? How is the Kmart still alive? What is the target shopping audience?)

(Photo from Holcombe of Hidalgo on Flickr, thanks!)

1445 South Power Roa Mesa, AZ 85206

Edit: By compete, we mean still exist. As in still in business post-bankruptcy (2002) and post-Sears merger (2005), since which over 1/3 of Kmart stores (only 1,300 stores remain in 2009 from over 2,114 pre-bankrupcty in 2002... but locations started closing in the late 1990's). To our (limited) knowledge, there have been no new Kmart store openings in the US since then. The only expansion could be a handful of new Sears Grand stores.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spring 2010 Kmart Fashion Catalog

Now online... the spring 2010 Kmart Lookbooks!
Here's for clothing and purses:

And here's for shoes:

In case the pics don't link, here they are:

This year, Kmart has re-launched the Jaclyn Smith clothing line, introduced Al Harrington's Protege shoes, Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer children's collection, continued with exclusive Joe Boxer and Route 66 brands, kept Disney apparel, and gotten a new fashion line from the US Polo Association, Thre3. However, it is ending its Martha Stewart contract.

The Sears "LookBooks" here:

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Franklin TN Big Kmart

Franklin Big Kmart
104 Watson Glen Shopping Center, Franklin, TN 37064

Wow! What can we say - on our visit in midweek afternoon in Sept 2009, we found this Big Kmart store to be surprisingly nice. The parking lot is well-paved, there are even some coverings for the shopping cart return spaces in the lot, and the building design looks like it was built pretty recently (for a Kmart, that is... ie probably sometime in the 1990s.) The demographics for the area are pretty upscale for Kmart - the average household income within a 5 mile radius is over $100,000 - not surprising that a Publix (formerly Albertsons) is across the street, but given this info, quite surprising that an Aldi is in the same plaza as the Kmart and a Big Lots is across another street. The site plan for the shopping center shows the Kmart clocks in around average for Kmarts, at 86,479 square feet (roughly half the size of a typical WalMart Supercenter but twice the size of a supermarket). The shopping center owner has info here .

Anyway, back to the store. The shopping carts were very nice - they seemed pretty new and unlike the aging carts found at our visits to neighboring Nashville Kmart stores. The target population (at least on a midafternoon weekday visit) seemed to be middle/elderly white women, unlike Nolensville Pike Nashville Big Kmart, which seemed to target a more diverse but lower socioeconomic population. The garden center supplies overflowed into the parking lot, and a lot of flowers were blooming outside the store. A plethora of nice employees were available, including one greeting customers entering the store, and one who tried to help us duplicate a key in the electronics section. However, the manager came up and told us not to take any pictures inside the store (why not, is it illegal to shoot photos?!), so sadly we only have photos from the left half of the store and none from the right, which include the Garden Center, Pharmacy, Tools and Home Improvement, and Pantry Foods. While there were signs of things lost past (a Kodak film photo-developing drop kiosk was hidden behind a shelf, as film developing is no longer offered here), this was definitely one of the nicest Kmart stores we've been to, even though it was not one of those few lucky "Extreme Makeover Remodels" from 2008. At checkout, 2 cashier lanes were open and given the relative dearth of customers, we were stunned to have a choice of empty check-out lanes. At our previous visit to Donelson Pike Kmart by the Nashville Airport (on a weekend), there was only 1 cashier open and a long line started forming until they scrambled employees from elsewhere in the store to open another lane. We suppose it's difficult to balance cashier lanes, but Sears Holding (Kmart parent company) seriously needs to INVEST in CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS especially in supply chain technology in order to predict customer trends and manage inventory as efficiently as Wal-Mart does. Sears Holding has invested a lot in the web-site shopping experience (even starting a hybrid online-real store service MyGopher), expanding selection tremendously, but in our opinion, because the web allows for extreme price comparison, Sears is not going to win against Amazon or WalMart, so some of this investment needs to be made in its stores!

Sorry, got off track. Here's the pictures of the exterior and from inside the left half of the store (clothing, sporting goods, shoes, electronics in the back, jewelry, furniture in the middle) before the manager asked us to stop taking photos.

The shopping center seemed nice, especially with the trees. It is offset from the main road, but seems too spread out for cross-customer-ization from one side (Aldi, Goody's, fitness center, etc) to the other (Kmart).

Wow, we rarely see shopping cart return covers! And the carts are pretty new and nice - no stuck or squeaky wheels!

Yay bicycles!

The entrance to the electronics section, manned by a helpful employee.

Bunk beds? The furniture selection was pretty large at this store.

Note the new Dora the Explorer kids' clothing line launch.

The inside of the store was well-stocked, clean, and overall, excellent for a Kmart. Indeed, because there aren't crowds of people "messing up"/misplacing merchandise, it's probably more organized than Target/WalMart. The downside: Christmas trees selling alongside Halloween costumes at the end of September! A mother had to tell her 2 little kids it wasn't nearly time for Christmas yet. At check-out, the cashier was friendly and we got nice surprises in that some items were cheaper than marked on the shelf. This seems to happen fairly often at Kmarts - the prices marked are not updated for the sales, so we are pleasantly surprised by price cuts. We pondered whether to go back to get more clearance items, such as a box of 4 heavy-duty ceramic dinner plates for $2 or wooden photo frames for $1, but decided not to. Kmart clearances definitely have extremely low prices, though!

The Garden Center and spillover into the parking lot.

Sorry there's no pictures of the pharmacy, etc, but hope you enjoyed this visit to this nice Big Kmart store! Overall, this Kmart store could probably compare favorably against Target and Wal-Mart (though Wal-Mart Supercenter has the extreme advantage of groceries - more on how Kmart dropped the ball with food in a later post). Enjoy!

Photos taken September 2009.

Friday, August 21, 2009

(former) Goldenrod Big Kmart

Goldenrod/Winter Park, FL Big Kmart
4000 Goldenrod Rd at University Blvd, Winter Park FL
Closed spring 2009 R.I.P after a new Target store was built across the street on the site of a demolished Winn-Dixie (formerly Goodings) supermarket.

Store Closing signs can be seen, 2009. The Kmart/Penske Auto Center had been closed for years already, I believe.
Here is the store back when open in 2005:

Update: Here it is after being closed, Aug 2009. Truly a sad sight?


Thursday, August 20, 2009

More kmart Closings

More than two dozen kmart stores have been or will be closed in 2009, the full list here:

Anyone know when the most recent opening of a completely new kmart store was? (Not just remodel or re-brand as Sears Grand...)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville Big Kmart and Kmart Express

Big Kmart and Kmart Express gas station

A visit on a July 2009 weeknight showed only a handful of customers browsing the store. This store still had an open Little Caesars Pizza cafe inside, immediately to the right of the entrance. The store was stocked as an average Kmart, but too many of the lights were off. A rare Kmart Express gas station was operating on the outskirts of the shopping plaza, with signs promoting cents off per gallon discounts if one used a Sears card, and (not sure how this works) more discounts if a Blue Light was flashing at the pump.

The entrance/exit area with a Little Caesars!

Wii ad on the security detectors by the exit.

Standard "Thank you for shopping Big Kmart" sign

Standard pharmacy


Auto products

Craftsman tool corner


Wrangler and other apparel

Olan Mills portrait studio

ProtegeMVP shoes

attention (brand) apparel now complements the growing lineup of trendy clothing brands offered including Disney, Levi Strauss Signature, Wrangler, Route 66, Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, Basic Editions, etc.

Hey someone is eating there!

The Kmart Express gas station:

Photos taken July 2009.


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