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Friday, November 5, 2010

Clarksville TN: Commons Big Kmart and Kmart Express

Clarksville Commons Big Kmart Store 7461 and Kmart Express gas station

2300 Madison St
Clarksville, TN 37040

This 88,146 sq ft is typical of the Big K stores that dot the deep South, and similar to most of the others ones still existing in the Tennessee and Kentucky area. In the same shopping center is a Food Lion, but more importantly, directly across the street is a 24 hour Wal-Mart Supercenter. Surprisingly, this old Kmart survived the drastic store cuts of the past decade and is still operating despite the superior competition next door.

 More Kmart Express gas station photos at the end of this post.
 The very typical store design, "Big K" signage, and large lonesome parking lot.
 The Garden Center canopy can be found in several other Big K stores.
 The K Express was doing decent business, actually. And yes, there is a gas station at the Walmart across the street.
Anyone know what percentage of Kmart stores look like this (rounded top, Big Kmart logo still in place)? Maybe 50%? Or 75%?
 Seriously, probably one of the biggest things that Kmart lags behind in would be the dismal ancient lighting, harsh fluorescent lights in straight lines that don't make the store sell
25 years of JS products

The dismal fresh food selection. Well, it's an average selection for Kmart stores, but pales vastly compared with Supercenters or even Target's P-fresh program. At least there were a lot of yummy Smart Sense dried fruit snacks on sale!
 The pharmacy window

The seasonal corner of the store looking rather bare... this is before Halloween.
 Anyone see anything missing in this photo?

The desolate unused entrance/exit to the garden center is missing the Kmart part of Big-Kmart sign!
 More of the garden center garage-space

Now here's something you probably will never see at a Target: dirtiness and ugly re-stocking pallet drivers...
Seriously, don't those clearance racks look very tacky?
The far corner of the store with the entrance to the former automotive center. This back corner actually extends deceptively far back, since the back wall that blocks off employee areas (including layaway) abuts out quite a bit - not sure why they couldn't make the corner "blocked" instead of having it protrude into the store.
Fairly decent vacuum selection, with Kenmore quality vacuums now being sold at kmart!
Formerly (I think) the auto center garage area... now a messy storage space
More of the former auto center.
View of the main back aisle of the store
Ok, another exhibit of protruding displays that clutter the already not-so-wide aisles. Yes, merchandisers probably pay for those displays, but they do get annoying to maneuver around...
PetK ads...
Standard Kmart electronics section. Most electronics sections are somewhat segregated from the store with only one customer entrance/exit point, but I seriously wonder if that is effective at all at loss prevention.
The main transverse aisleway.
Ok, another exhibit: those columns that block the aisle are very annoying as well, even if they do have price scanners on them...
Pretty decent furniture selection!

Kmart now runs its own shoe department, which is very competitively priced, but the selection can be hit or miss.
Wow, fun & games & exercise equipment!

The employee stockroom by the apparel area
Looks like another former K-Cafe or Little Caesars has become the stroller and infant furniture area now....
More of the former food serving area.
Ok Kmart, the endcaps are some of the most important sales areas. And you put low-priced gallons of water in the infant section??
The seven remaining cashier lanes, pretty typical for Kmart.

Join our team!
The exit. All in all, a fairly decent Southern (or heck, American) Big Kmart, probably built in the 1970's as a Kmart with some remodeling to "Big Kmart" done probably in the late 1990s, and in need of a makeover now. But, the strategy is to keep costs down, and this store still survives across the street from a Walmart Supercenter, so I guess Sears Holdings' strategy is working, at least in the short term.

The Kmart Express gas station. Anyone know if these are also corporate-owned, or franchised, or merely name-licensed?

There was no Kmart Express gas station sign (or heck, even Kmart at all) sign from the main street, so the electronic price on the canopy will have to do.

Well, thanks for reading! This may be the last post of 2010, but hopefully we'll return for another Holiday update before the new year!


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