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Friday, May 7, 2010

Fremont, Ohio Super Kmart Center

Fremont Super Kmart Center

Store # 3784

1825 N STATE RTE 19
Fremont, OH - 43420

In a small "average middle-class American" Ohio city, this almost 17 year old Kmart Supercenter remains in business, one of the few dozen surviving Kmart Supercenters left in 2010 after hundreds (well, maybe there were once that many, but Kmart never did successfully exploit the hypermarket grocery superstore concept) have been closed this past decade. On a visit, this Super Kmart had several cashiers open and was doing brisk business for a Kmart - though significantly less than a Walmart. However, the volume of traffic is still much less than the peak of Kmart in the early 1990s - indeed, back then Kmart was a retail force as this Kmart opened 3 years after a Walmart opened in Fremont. Now the Walmart has become a supercenter and draws a lot more crowds.

The layout involves the electronics, garden center, sporting goods, and apparel on the right side of the store, with the pharmacy and health section in the front left, bakery/deli and groceries in the middle left, and meats/seafood/produce in the back left. The other departments fill the rest of the store. There are two main customer entrances, one on either side of the row of cashiers in the middle. In front of the cashiers include customer service, Olan Mills portrait studio, Coinstar and Lotto machines, Western Union money orders, video rentals, etc.

Note: store right/left side is defined here as seen when standing in the parking lot and looking at the store. All pictures in this post copyright owners of SuperKmart blog.

View from the air. Copyright owners of SuperKmart blog 2009.

Sign from the main highway (20/6/53 Grand Army of the Republic)

View of the back of the store from the highway exit onto Route 19 N Oak Harbor Rd

View from State Route 19, the only entrance into the Super K Center. Note the garden center overflow in the parking lot.

The sign says Open 24 Hours.

The main store front.

The right entrance leads to apparel/electronics.

View facing the middle of the store from the right entrance. 16 cashier lanes!

The right entrance.

Kmart's expanding apparel lineup.

Toys in the main back aisleway.

Looking toward the front of the store. Super Kmart Center salutes our Ohio vendors.

The left side of the store with the perishable foods in the corner.

The produce selection isn't the best, but not bad for a Kmart.

Refridgerated/freezer cases

One can order cakes online at

There were freshly baked products available.

Looking toward the front of the store from the left side.

Wow, more than 4 cashier lanes were open midday weekend!

The Shop Your Way program has promotional signage.

The Customer Service "Super Stars of Super K" at the front of the store.

From a 2010 visit

Here's an interesting archive article about the opening of this store.

Nowadays, the major direct competition nearby is a Walmart that became "supercenter-ized" in 2005 - quite surprising that the Kmart is still open 5 years later. There are, to the best of our knowledge, no Targets, Costcos, Sears, or BJ's nearby, so there's only the Walmart, some Krogers and a handful of small independent grocers, and the ubiquitous drugstores. Still surprising the Kmart is surviving the many rounds of cuts that have winnowed down the Super K ranks.

A quick Comparison:

Fremont Wal-Mart Supercenter

2052 state Route 53, Fremont, Ohio

Open: 1990 as 130,152 sq ft Store, Re-opened April 2005 as 211,350 Supercenter

Features include (as of 2005): Portrait studio, Garden Center, Auto Service, Hair salon, pizza store, vision center, drive thru pharmacy

Employment (as 2005): Around 320 Full time jobs and 80 part time jobs

Check-out lanes: 20 cashiers, 8 express lane cashiers, and 8 self-checkout lanes (36 total)

The 47th Walmart Supercenter in Ohio (not including 69 discount stores and 27 Sam’s Clubs in OH as of 2005)

Open 24 hrs

Fremont Super Kmart Center

Store # 3784

1825 N STATE RTE 19
Fremont, OH 43420

Open: Aug 1993 as 173,046 sq ft Kmart Supercenter (8th Super K in the USA)

Features include (as of 2010): Garden Shop, Pharmacy, Olan Mills Portrait Studio, Video Center, Lotto, Western Union Money, Deli/Bakery

Employment: estimated 100-190 (My guess is 184)

Check-out lanes: 16

Open 24 hrs

# of Kmart Supercenters in the USA: 47 in 2009, 32 in 2010 (estimate)


  1. Wait, so the Wal-Mart Supercenter has a pizza center but Kmart doesn't...?

  2. Anyone know if Fremont had a Kmart before the super one opened?

  3. Frequent Fremont visitor checking in. I am told that this is Fremont's first K-Mart store. Walmart's corridor has exploded since it upsized, adding several restaurants and an adjacent small shopping center, and drawing Peebles' department store out of downtown Fremont.

    That "Video Center" alluded to in this article was probably a real video rental store once, but now it is the saddest arcade I've ever seen.

    The pizza store in the Wal-Mart is a Papa Murphy's take-n-bake store.

    I think the nearest Targets are in Toledo and Perrysburg. Target, Meijer, and nearly all of the other chain stores can be found along Route 250 in Sandusky, which coaster lovers know as the main drag from the Ohio Turnpike to Cedar Point.

    I have not been thrilled with the fresh produce at this Super K, and I should note that the Wal-Mart pharmacists have always been very kind to my loved ones in the area, but I still would choose this store over Wal-Mart every time. But I'm from Meijer country.

    1. I used to be the District Manager for the Video Rental company from 1993-1994. They sold in the summer of 1994 to a national company. Not sure when they closed.

  4. I agree that this is one of the best SuperKmarts I have been in. Assuming all SuperK's have about the same budgets for refreshes and manhours then this stores management team must be one of their best.

  5. They are closing the grocery portion of this store as of April 1 and will be going to just a Big K.

  6. what I love about this place is that you will always find a spot to park the car. Besides they always have the best products and so much variety of brands. I love buying here. It's almost like a hobbie

  7. The busiest section of The Super Kmart near us is the grocery section. Whatever is on sale sells out very quickly. I think the Super Kmart stores have the most potential out of all of Sears Holdings stores. However, these stores are not updated or advertised enough. Most of these stores are near state of the art Walmart locations that are advertised a lot.

  8. I have saw this store since it's conversion. Its conversion is very haphazard and a steep decline in customers is noticable. The only real updates are the new driveway signs bearing "Kmart". On the store its self the only change is that the "Super" and "Center" parts of the sign were removed leaving the udated Kmart logo behind. The lone Kmart logo seems very small compared to the store.Look at the storefront picture above and imagine how bad it looks now. To me the conversion looks trashy and uninviting. Kmart should have made improvements like they did at several other Super Kmarts to increase the number of customers.

  9. Hey everyone. Visiting family nearby and a little disappointed to report that this store is in its final weeks, scheduled to close this month. They even have the people standing at the corners in front of the Walmart Supercenter, which is freshening up a little to boot. Also, Kroger is building a huge new store across the highway. Familiar story.

    Local coverage with recent photos:

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