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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bigg's to close

Market Watch:
Cincinnati based Bigg's will close 5 hypermarkets and sell the remaining 6 large supermarkets to local Remke Markets. Bigg's, which some have described as a more upscale Walmart Supercenter selling everything from fresh produce to apparel, had around a 5% grocery market share in 2009 in the Cincy area, falling behind hometown giant Kroger and WM. Supervalu Corp, which owns biggs, ostensibly is selling the chain for cash given their relatively large debt ever since the Albertsons acquisition, but this also signifies that the Biggs supercenters were probably not as competitive with Walmarts and the like...
I'm sure many will miss you, bigg's!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Comparisons against Walmart

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, now accounts for 21% of the grocery/foods market share in the US, larger than the next 3 largest competitors (such as Kroger, Costco, and Safeway) combined. Almost 90% of Americans have shopped in a Walmart in the past year, an astoundingly high (and inspiring for any business) number. What about regular weekly customers? Here's something from Supermarket News:

Conventional supermarkets 43.5% +2.4
Warehouse clubs 9.2% +1.1
Target general merchandise stores 8.8% +1.1
Kmart/Big Kmart/Kmart Super Center 4.7% +1.0
Walmart Supercenter 28.7% +0.8
SuperTarget 5.4% +0.5
Walmart discount stores 10.5% +0.5
Dollar stores/small-format value retailers 14.8% +0.4
Extreme-value/price-impact supermarkets 9.3% +0.3
Health/natural supermarkets 4.9% +0.2
Drug stores 20.6% -0.6
Specialty food stores/neighborhood specialty markets 6.9% -1.1
Convenience stores — gasoline purchase 41.1% -2.2
Convenience stores — merchandise purchase 16.4% -2.3

SOURCE: Retail Forward ShopperScape (survey of 4,000 consumers who are primary shoppers for their households)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parsippany NJ Kmart/Sears

Big Kmart, erm, Sears Essentials, erm soon to be kmart
808 US 46, Parsippany NJ

Well, it seems like perhaps the first new Kmart will be opened in almost a decade. Oh wait, it was a Kmart. Never mind, just converting a Sears Essentials (that was itself converted from a Big Kmart) back to the Kmart banner. (See our previous blog post on the miserable failure that Sears Essentials is/was. Great potential, terrible execution...) I wonder if this "conversion" will involve a major makeover, or just some cheap new signage. Hopefully, they will use this opportunity to explore with fresh & appealing designs (aka Walmart's "Project Impact") and add an expanded grocery section (aka Target's "pFresh"), but cross your fingers, for Sears management isn't particularly known for retail ingenuity in the 21st century. In other random news, a newspaper article from Columbia, TN states that Sears is replacing its closing mall store... with a Hometown franchisee a couple blocks away. Uh, sure a Sears Hometown store is better than no Sears, but a Hometown store is a fraction of the size...

From the
PARSIPPANY — Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed on Thursday that it was converting its Sears Essentials store in Parsippany back to a Kmart. The building at Arlington Plaza on Route 46 West was built and opened in 1998 as a flagship Kmart store, which was featured in a high-profile national advertisement that also included a staged parade in Boonton led by Penny Marshall and Rosie O'Donnell. It was rebranded as a Sears Essentials store after Kmart Holdings Corp. purchased Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 2005, creating the company known as Sears Holdings Corp.

"We found that the popularity of Kmart resonated better with the customers, so we are changing it back," said Sears Holdings Corp. spokesperson Kim Freely.

Freely said the store will close for two days following the liquidation sale that began on Sunday. It will then soft-open as a Kmart on March 24, with the grand opening scheduled for May 28.

"And we'll be adding a layaway program, sporting goods, hosiery and jewelry," Freely said

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nashville, TN: Nolensville Big Kmart

4095 Nolensville Pike at Harding Rd
Nashville, TN 37211

92,770 Sq Ft

This store is directly across from a Wal-Mart Supercenter (which replaced the defunct and razed-over former Harding Mall) that opened in 2006... good luck surviving! (Note: from multiple parking lot counts, obviously the Wal-Mart parking lot is almost always crowded, but the Kmart one still has quite a few cars, a good sign.) There are remnants left over from other now-closed Kmart stores here - like Super Kmart shopping carts.

I added a nearby Food Lion picture because I thought it looked neat and sort of retro.
Edit: The Walmart Supercenter effect (a killing zone for traditional supermarkets nearby) has come. The Food Lion closed in Feb 2010. (Note: we'll post Food Lion store closing pictures in another update in the next month)

The Layaway (one of the few areas Kmart offers that Walmart doesn't currently) is in the posterior right corner of the store.

A view from the front right of the store.

This is the front right corner. Looks like a former Kmart Cafe or Little Caesars area, now holds infants' supplies (strollers) and clearance items. Some of the far cashiers lanes look rather lonely.

The Pharmacy. It looked crowded with several people standing in the small aisles waiting - if there is any room to spare (probably not), it may be worth it to add a bench area. Or perhaps this way people will go shopping while waiting.

The Garden Shop in January was closed. They should spruce up the looks and add new signage, as this is the most visible corner of the store from Harding Road, and it doesn't look that appealing to non-Kmart fans.

Some stylish (for Kmart) clothing!

Looking from the middle back of the store towards the entrance.

Kmart now owns and operates its own shoe department. Previously, Footstar Corp owned the inventory but they went bankrupt.

The restrooms in the back. Some old signs!


More furniture!

There are new signs on the walls of the electronics department - a nice touch. A helpful salesperson was also hanging around on this visit - great job! Granted, Kmart's electronics department still has a ways to go, especially with Walmart devoting more and more space and promotions to this category.

The Craftsman tools aisle. Some empty spots, but pretty decent overall.

Note the linear fluorescent lighting and white linoleum (?) tiles. Target does a much better job with ambience by having "splotchy" lights on the ceiling instead of long straight lines.

Note the new signage on the top of the walls with national brands. I wonder if the brands had to pay for the pseudo-ads, or if Kmart is just happy to be able to carry them.

Kmart is doing a decent job in stocking the shelves and uncluttering, but somehow the vintage 1970's store feel still hangs over it sometimes. Not that it's a bad thing, but Walmarts are generally moving toward a more "upscale" wooden-floor-type airy feel.

Please don't do drugs, people!

The very first thing to welcome shoppers is a sign-up table for the loyalty card program Shop-Your-Way rewards.

That's all for now!

A view from the air of Harding Rd at Nolensville Pike. The Kmart is on the left, with decent number of cars, while the Walmart supercenter (formerly Harding Mall) is on the right.

Competition: Directly across the street, a 192,968 sq ft Walmart Supercenter opened January 2007, replacing Harding Mall. It was the 91st WM Supercenter in TN, not including 16 regular stores, a handful of Neighborhood Markets, and 16 Sam's Clubs.

Update: The Nolensville Pike Kmart was partially damaged by floods in Nashville in May 2010.

Photos taken 2009 and 2010



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