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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Madison TN Big Kmart

Madison Nashville Gallatin Pike Big Kmart Store 4093

1508 S Gallatin Rd
Madison TN 37115

 Another one of the aging (probably approaching 40 years old) Big Kmart stores typical of the middle Tennessee region, this 91,743 sq ft solitary store features an extremely large parking lot (probably full 30 years ago, but not anymore) and pharmacy, K-cafe, garden center, portrait studio, jewelry, electronics, layaway, etc...
The oversized lot means this store is ripe for the leasing of outparcels and even kiosks/store- in - a - store revenue opportunities that Sears Holdings is desperately trying to generate to make up for continual declines in actual store performance. This might include the currently empty 7,832 sq ft former auto center...

However, a new Walmart (with groceries, of course) opened just a couple miles away on Dickerson Pike next to Skyline Medical Center - and with the many dollar stores nearby becoming more aggressive, we'll see how long this Kmart can stay open without any signs of capital investment. Seriously, a complete tear-down remodel would be nice, but the folks at corporate believe the costs of that outweigh any gains in sales. They may be right, but Kmart sales aren't going anywhere in the meantime...

Ok, enough corporate-bashing, we'll get on with the store tour. Not a bad Kmart by any means, but nothing spectacular either.

 The store is on the Nashville MTA Bus route #26 and Bus Rapid Transit BRT #56, serving Gallatin Pike from Downtown Nashville to Rivergate.
 Oversized parking lot, built for back in the heyday when people actually shopped at Kmart as a destination. Nowadays, people drive extra to go to Walmart Supercenters and don't think of Kmart on their radar.
 The late 1990's/early 2000s Big Kmart facelift, with the typical orange paint added several years ago.

 A lot of cashier lanes =)
 The Kmart Cafe still exists. It might have been a Little Caesars in the past, not sure, but most other Kmart Cafes have been converted into space for clearance items or baby strollers.

 Still some empty prominent racks...

 NARROW AISLES~!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE... stop cluttering major aisles (and heck, all aisles) with protruding endcaps, display setups, clearance carts, and other stuff. I know you can't do much about the building poles that sometimes are annoyingly in the way without a remodel, but this photo shows how the clothing racks are in the middle of the main aisle that transverses the back of the store, and literally the cart had trouble fitting through - it had to push some clothing sleeves out of the way. Totally unacceptable, and not seen at most Target or Walmarts, and heck, even dollar stores are cleaning their act up. On the plus side, this Kmart has newer nice carts.
 Layaway and the (surprisingly busy on this visit) Olan Mills portrait studio are tucked away in the back.

 How does one actually purchase the furniture? There should be a "press here for customer assistance" button located near departments with big ticket items to call salespeople - aka, sporting goods, furniture, electronics, garden center, tools, jewelry.
 Electronics, pretty standard Kmart format, with the digital camera display upgraded.

 The seasonal corner with Back to School. I've always wondered whether Kmart could expand the lackluster grocery selection (into something like Target's PFresh or Rite Aid's combination with Save-A-Lot) and push one of the sections like seasonals into unused space (like former auto center areas) or the garden center (and push more of the garden center merchandise into the semi-outdoors area)... but that would probably require actually investing some money into making their stores look nicer...

 A colorful in store entrance to the garden center! Actually pretty cute!
 Fairly decent garden center!
 Kenmore grills... barbeque time?

 It seems like there are several interior color scheme variants, depending on when the most recent half-hearted remodel occured - most of the time the pre-bankruptcy "Big Kmart" conversion paint job. This store had the orange-reddish paint scheme.
 the "There's smart, and there's Kmart smart" slogan currently used makes no sense to us. Not sure how many people think Kmart is smart, considering that they've been getting their butts kicked by Walmart and competitors, with around 2/3 of their store base closed in the past decade... Does anyone actually like that slogan?
Hope you enjoyed a tour of the Madison Kmart! All in all, a fairly typical Big K, not a bad place to shop.
So that's all for now! Thanks for reading.


  1. I live down the street from this KMart, but (beyond the garden center) I can't force myself to shop here. In my experience, the cashiers are always pretty unfriendly. And the store is cluttered and dingier than other Kmarts I've been in. In addition, my boyfriend once had his hubcaps stolen from the parking lot (in daylight)!

  2. It seems that a lot of smaller Kmarts and walmarts seem to be very cluttered. We refuse to shop at this one walmart because it is cramped and items are always found thrown all over the floor, the employees are rude and not helpful and the store is always packed with rude and disguisting customers. I do not like walmart because of how they drive competitors out of business. Every Super Kmart I know of has a Walmart within a mile of it. Super Kmart is very clean and uncluttered with friendly staff even though the stores are about 20 years old. Even though Super Kmart often gets very busy it is still easy to move through the store. We often find ourselves driving farther to shop at Super Kmart instead of a closer to home Walmart Supercenter. I have not been in a Big Kmart in over 10 years.

  3. Imagine a world of JUST Walmarts (the evil empire) and Targets (the place that tells you what to like and the mindless shop at). I'm not saying that Kmart doesn't have its issues...but, they are the underdog. Walmarts and Targets could care less about Kmart. I have a Super Kmart by my house that rivals anything either of those two have in terms of shopping experience - they are ALL just big box stores. I shop the sales and go to various stores to get what my family needs. Kmart has really good sales. Although Walmart will beat all their (& Target's) prices...most of the time its just by a couple cents! For example - a $3.00 box of cereal at Kmart or Target is $2.98 at Walmart... and I've noticed they sometimes have less product in them! Kmart takes coupons (sometimes double coupons) and I can save even more money there! They are also the ONLY one that has a loyalty card, which gives me $$$$ back on everything I purchase. Dick's sporting goods does that as well. Anyway, I'm rambling. Just want to continue to have choices.

  4. I go to this Big K all the time and do not have complaints!!! the picture above ov the parking lot is decieving even though it is seldom ever filled, that makes it closer and easier to get in the store! The convience store at the front of the lot is ok but like everywhere else their gas prices are TOO HIGH!!! All in all I really want to keep this location around. Not many places I can go around my house that is this close and at 70 years old I need to try to be as thrifty as possible!!!

  5. I was there when this place closed!
    Got a few souvenirs, signs, etc.

    Of course, I shopped when it was open too...Ate at the Nathan's, went here during Hot Wheels "K-day".



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