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Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011: News, Store Closings, and Tidbits

Welcome to SUPERKMARTBLOG 2011!
This is your source for entertaining Kmart commentary, all unofficial and not related at all to Kmart or Sears Holdings.
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 Super Kmart Blog!

So according to our poll in the month of December 2010, our most popular full photo-post of 2010 was the "Smallest Kmart stores" - thanks for voting! Second place was the Fremont, Ohio Super Kmart Center post. We didn't include posts that didn't feature lots of photos (like this one) in the voting.
So, now to 2011: The News

More Kmart (at least 6 Kmarts and 2 Sears Essentials) and Sears store (at least 12) closings. No surprise here, the company is still struggling, and given their tremendous under-investment in stores (capital investment total and per store and really by any measure is far below that of rivals including Wal-mart) and increasing competition from Amazon/online sellers, dollar stores, drugstores, and traditional rivals like Wal-mart and Home Depot, the future still remains in doubt for Kmart and Sears. Granted, SHLD is trying to adapt and evolve new features, such as online digital movie rental/sales, and electronics/"Blue Crew" social media blogging, but overall, the stores are sagging... and seems like SHLD no longer has Press Releases to announce these more than annual events...
Kmart store closings: Wisconsin, Utah, Ohio, New Jersey and at least two in Illinois. Going-out-of-business sales will begin Jan. 16, and the stores will close April 3.

Some of those closing:

Big Kmart at 2633 S Business Dr, Sheboygan, WI 53081. (This store is also featured in the top photo above) Built in 1976, it currently has 62 employees.

(Photo courtesy WHBL and other local newspapers)

Kmart at 1780 Erie Highway South, Hamilton OH. This store currently has 79 employees and a "new" logo on the street signage.

(pic courtesy JournalNews)
Big Kmart at 1268 Highway 22, North Plainfield NJ 07060. This store has 64 employees. It also has very interesting parking lots, in that the majority of the parking for the plaza is on either sides rather than facing the stores.

Sears Essentials at 1515 East Riverside Boulevard, Loves Park, IL  This store was converted from a Kmart in 2005 and currently has 86 employees. Lousy cheap half-hearted conversion, lousy results.

Big Kmart at 10205 Grand Ave, Franklin Park IL. This store, next to Chicago O'Hare International Airport, was built in 1975 and employs 92 people, and is next to a Jewel-Osco supermarket.

 Big Kmart at 424 W Oregon Ave, Philadelphia PA. This store dates from 1980, and employs 114.

(2 photos from Greg Bezanis/Joseph Myer of South Philly Review)

Kmart store at 70 Cherry Tree Center, Washington IL 61571. This store was one of the five lime-green "prototype" Kmart stores that were converted in 2002 (or 2003?) after the Kmart bankruptcy. Three of the other lime-green stores were in Illinois also, in Peoria, Morton, and Pekin; while one was in White Lake, MI. This store was built in 1981 and employs 71 people. 

An set of photos of the prototype store in White Lake can be found on this Flickr page:

and here is one from user PlasticFootball of the Pekin Kmart store, similar to the Washington one that is closing. The Pekin store will remain open. 

Sears (Essentials?) at 3315 Court Street, Pekin IL. This store, which employs 79 people, was one of the first Sears Essentials prototypes (sigh... failure of execution of concept by the lack of investment) and opened in 2004 in a former Wal-Mart building (the Wal-mart built a new Supercenter down the block). However, the exterior signage only has Sears. Interestingly, it is just down the road from the Pekin Kmart store, and both remained opened during the time this Sears was in operation. Don't worry, this photo from the PekinTimes was of a DUI Safety Demonstration, and not a real accident. Don't drink and drive, folks!

Full-line (ie regular) Sears store at Charlestowne Mall at 3700 East Main Street, Saint Charles, IL  This store was built in 1991 and employs 94.
Full-line Sears store at Raleigh Springs Mall at 3344 Austin Peay Highway, Memphis, TN. This store was built in 1971 and the whole mall is also struggling.
Full-line Sears at 301 Eastwood Shopping Center, Frankfort KY. This store was built in the 1960's.
Full-line Sears at at Rolling Acres Mall at 2400 Romig Rd, Akron OH. This store was built in 1975 and was almost the last surviving store after the mall basically closed in 2008. It employs 85 people.
(most of these Sears stores include auto centers as well)

Digital Movie Sales:
Sears and Kmart are entering the digital-movie rental and sale industry with the new online video store Alphaline Entertainment.
The retailers, both owned by Sears Holdings, charge per title, making the service less like Netflix's subscription model and more akin to Apple's iTunes, except that it's not yet available to Mac users.
Television episodes sell for $1.99, while movies sell for $19.95 and rent for $3.99. Most content cannot be burned to a DVD, but users can watch their rentals and purchases on a TV screen connected via S-video jack to their PC. Alphaline uses the RoxioNow platform, which also drives Best Buy's CinemaNow, so the services have much in common, including available film and TV titles.

"Blue Crew Blogs"
Just in time for The Consumer
Electronics Show, the world's largest technology tradeshow, Sears consumer
electronics launches a new social media initiative called the Sears Blue
Blogger Crew, which is dedicated to providing knowledgeable, industry
bloggers the opportunity to engage in consumer electronics announcements,
events and activities throughout the year. The goal of the Sears Blue
Blogger Crew initiative is to provide enthusiastic bloggers with new
resources and early access to consumer electronics information, so they can
further report, blog and interact with their social media communities about
the latest technology news.

And finally, some photos of closed Super Kmart Center store in Texas at this other retail site:

Upcoming soon this year on SuperKmart Blog: Store photos from Orlando and more; a look at Sears' many concept stores; an analysis of the remaining Super Kmarts / Supercenters; guest blog posts; and more!


  1. The real reason that Franklin Park is closing i shown in the following link:
    Sold to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency!

  2. Correction: Neither Sears Holding nor the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have ever been owners of the property in question. The true owners are show in the line previous to the affidavit line.

  3. Hi! Thanks for linking to my photos of the White Lake store! I have included a link to an embarrassingly sentimental essay on my blog explaining why I took them.

    Incidentally, I have loved ones near Fremont, OH. When I visit, I will always drive past that giant Wal-Mart to shop at Super K. I'll add a couple of comments to your article there.

  4. They should close the one in Paintsville, Kentucky down as well. The store is a disaster and the most poorly managed retail store in the area.

    Feel free to use the images as you wish. They were all taken by me on my iPod.

  5. I have several pictures of the closing North Plainfield, NJ location that I took a few weeks ago, including a picture of their old Garden Center sign in the green/white colors! Feel free to contact me chris **at** electricfm dot com and I can send you the pictures if you want to include them on the site.

  6. Rumor has it that come November 2011 K-Mart will be closing all of its stores. Will that include all the Sears stores also? A lot of jobs are in jeopardy, if this is true. The stores are not very safe. I slipped on Crisco oil that was spilled in an aisle. They sent me to a local hospital to get an x-ray and never paid my hospital bill. I was left with a permanent injury in 2001 and they could care less. Not a way to treat customers! I still go there for my prescriptions because they are affordable. I lost my insurance and cannot work.

  7. It's sad to hear this news but this phenomenon seems to happen everywhere. We're a fan of KMart and will always be.

  8. Right after the merger I heared many rumors about Kmart being Rebranded. According to the rumors Big Kmart was going to be Rebranded as Sears Grand and Super Kmart was going to be rebranded As "Super Sears". The rumors included that the old Elyria, Ohio Super Kmart (this store was open for only a year then closed right before the merger)would be the location of the first "Super Sears". This store concept would be a normal supercenter that also has Sears brands like Craftsman And Kenmore and certain sections like tools and appliances that Sears specializes in would be expanded. This Store would have replaced the Sears at the mall and the nearby Sears Apliance And Hardware stores. This store never reopened as a "Super Sears" or a Super Kmart. However, a Big Kmart several Miles Away near Crocker Park was rebranded as a Sears Grand. Also, nearby Big Kmarts and Super Kmarts started carrying Sears brands like Craftsman and Kenmore as well as being remodled to include interior signs identical to those used in Sears stores. I think these changes make it posible for kmart to be Easily rebranded as Sears stores when ever Sears gets a chance to do so. I have not heared any rumors recently. Only time will tell if the rumors of Kmart being rebranded are true. Does anyone know if there is or ever has been a "Super Sears"?

  9. u was wondering if anybody has heard when sears is going to sell off orchard supply

  10. The Sears at Hulen Mall in Fort Worth, TX should be closed down as well. The customer service is horrible. The store manager Roger Rowley is a bad manager. Loss Prevention stops anyone who looks poor and that are a minority. The BBB should look into that store very bad things are going on in that store. The merchandise is very cheap and they make you think that kenmore appliances are exclusive but that are just whirlpools with the kenmore name! Craftsman used to be good quality but now they just fix the broken returned tools at the stores and give them to customers when they do exchanges. Having the customer think they ate getting new merchandise!

  11. Any rumors of the Sears store i n Clarksville, IN closing?

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. i will miss kmart!
    i love to shop there when i was a kid


  14. This would be a successful future.
    For Sears:
    Close down Sears entirely.
    (that was easy)
    Now for Kmart:
    Get rid of all clothing depts. including baby dept. except for socks / hosery / underwear / and womens "unmentionables."
    Also keep the shoe dept.
    Take out the entire grocery section.
    (even Mr. Kresge was not profiting from grocery)
    Get rid of K marts electronics dept. but bring in the SEARS electronics.
    Keep the Kmart small appliances and add in the full line of sears appliances with having customers buy and take from the store the same day.
    None of this delivery crap, when I need a washer or refrigerator I ned it NOW not in 3 days.
    Keep the currant health / beauty section as well as the pet section.
    Get rid of outdoor garden, add more to the indoor garden.
    Now finally heres a goldmine.
    Kmart needs to mabey contract with pEP bOYS or someting and have a Auto Dept. that is a Auto Store in store with A FULL auto service workshop, not just brakes nd tires. The catch to lure customers in:
    FREE TOW FREE ESTIMATES and if you choose not to have us do the repair FREE tow back home.

    THIS WOULD BE A SUCCSESSFUL american store, K MART. Sorry Sears but you did serve american people for a hell of a long time, but just like Montgomery Ward, its time to shut off the lights. Thank you Sears, and a bright hello to K mart, yes K mart.

  15. all of st.louis missouri sears hardware tore has been sold 10/15/2011

  16. does anyone know about the st. louis hardware stores being bought by marlu company please respond

  17. I heard all Sears stand alone Appliance stores and all Sears stand alone paint stores have been sold.

  18. free towing to and from??? You would not stay in bizz long!!!

  19. FYI the home office just told the lp department to cut at least 20 hours from each store. Now, going into Christmas when sales and shrink are at it highest why cut your security hours? Unless something us going on. In in one region the Lp VP, Lp regional and Ops regional all resigned within 3 months, and that's only 1 region. I think the fat lady maybe singing.

  20. My husband works for Kmart so I shop there frequently. As I was checking out today with a friend, the check out girl was saying how she didn't even shop at kmart, she goes to walmart. I couldn't believe my ears. Someone that collects a paycheck from kmart is telling customers that she shops at walmart because kmart is to expensive. Kmart should really get some better quality workers in there. Also I was a little disappointed in there kids selection for Christmas clothes. There were no sweaters for 18-5T. There were 5 suits to choose from and that was it. A better line of clothing is in high need for kmart. There check out lines are slow, and everything is outdated in the store. Please help kmart survive.

  21. Kmart...the things I could go on about regarding closures, low sales, low moral, etc...

    First of all - let it be known that there is something extremely wrong with a company that "freezes" raises due to lack of sales, especially when you see all the waste that occurs on the inside, or you hear of $100,000 being given to a total stranger in a give away, or a million dollars being spent on a "signing package." Then when a raise is granted it's less than 10 cents! Woooo - what the heck does this say to the employees? This affects the moral of the workers and when workers are feeling over worked and way under paid - this affects the environment in which customers shop. Happy employees = happy customers. (I work in a higher minimum wage state which has raised it at least 4 times since my hire on date. Only one time was our pay adjusted. For me, I now only make a tad bit over a new hire and I have been there for nearly a decade. Is this cause to be unhappy? You bet it is and it happens all across the board! Also - there is a saying, "if you pay peanuts - you're going to get monkeys." These are the lazy, who cares, no pride associates that do not do anything to enhance teamwork or build better relationships with the customers. Personally I think there are too many of them.

    Next - Bring back the basics. Whatever happened to just providing our customers with a basic enjoyable shopping experience? Customers do not want to be hounded with all the questions we are forced to ask over and over and over again. Email, Sears card, rewards card, zip code, survey, etc... People just want to be able to pay and get out. Some would also just enjoy a pleasant conversation with the checker rather than all those impersonal questions. One of our goals is to "build longer lasting relationships with our customers." How can we do this if our focus is all about us and not them? We are told that our priority is the customer but the company sure does not portray that. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean we should. Sales are ridiculous sometimes too. We have too many ads that overlap each other. This is confusing to the customer. We also put the same items on sale every week. Nothing really ever changes. When a customer sees this - they think - "well that's not really a sale now is it?" It's a mind game that is costing us our customer base.


  22. Next - when I first began working at Kmart - we had about 150 people working at my store. Now we are down to less than 70. That is nearly half of what we had yet the work load never decreased. If anything it has increased due to the task oriented mind set of our leaders. Less people there to do all the things they want us to do = equals less people to serve our customers = unhappy customers = lower sales = cutting budget = even less workers = equals even lower sales. This is a viscous cycle - like a dog chasing its tail. Has no one ever heard that sometimes you have to lose in order to win? Our company seems to have way too many chefs in the kitchen and not nearly enough servers. With fewer workers there is, less freight that gets worked out onto the floor, less people to do counter details that affects our stock, less people to assist customers that need help on the floor, and also there is a greater potential for theft. We cannot be everywhere at once, especially if we are doing a reset for the 4th freaking time in less than 6 months! (for example) Sure sales may be down but if they keep hacking away at the budget they will eventually have no one to work the stores which means even less customers and the probably a store closure. Why not cut from the top sometimes instead of the bottom.
    (example - Do we really need so many teams working on ad stuff? the weekly ad, the monthly ad, and then the weekend caps, as well as the in store events. Many of these ads are exactly the same as another current ad which makes the time and energy spent on it a huge waste.)

    Next - Quality!!! Has anyone ever considered how much waste is generated by our 605 departments? Recently we received some shirts that came in with the sleeves upside down! Are you kidding me? (Also just 1 example) Even worse - we damaged them out only to get them back! WTH! Jewelry that falls apart as you are showing it to a customer. Electronics that come back to the store within a month because something has failed on it. Clothing less than 2 weeks ripping out or fraying. I find it appalling that we advertise "quality merchandise" in our commercials on the Kmart radio network when I know darn well it's not really true. After a time customers get tired of having to do returns because the product fails and then they decide to go elsewhere. (Note: we also lose a lot to dept. 605 due to the way our trucks are packed. Many items come in already broken and or damaged.)

    There are so many other thing I could go on about but I think many of us who work there already know the story. Bottom line is - there are many ways we could increase our customer base, boost our sales, and prevent more store closures, and even prevent another bankruptcy. Kmart has great potential but it needs the leaders to make some much needed changes and some sacrifices. They need to quit trying to keep up with the Jones' and learn to think outside the box. They also need to learn that if you treat your associates well - your associates will remain loyal and will give 110% to a company they believe in.

    This is not intended to be a nag on Kmart; rather it is an insider's perspective on how a few changes could actually make a big difference for the life of Kmart.

  23. Kmart needs to figure out how Target ate their lunch and copy it. Value, clean stores, and friendly workers - that all!
    As for Sears...the only reason I ever go to Sears is to possibly buy major appliances and tools. That's it - there is nothing else I would ever want there. I would go to a thrift store before I ever bought clothes at Sears. Who is buying their stuff? Fire them! Now!

  24. I have to say if it weren't for K-Mart , I wouldn't have gotten most of the things I got for Christmas. I got one layaway at Walmart and when I went to pick up the layaway it was a disaster for 2011. They had two lines one to pay for the layaway and one line to get it out. I got most of my stuff at Kmart . Kmart may be a little more expensive, but they sure have alot better damn quality products than Walmart. Walmart is not all what they're cracked up to be. The entire layaway line at Walmart was chanting Kmart the whole time and said they wont be back at walmart for Christmas so hang i n there Kmart.

  25. Well, it's official...Sears Holding is closing 100 - 120 stores. No one knows who gets the ax as of yet. Despite the fact the Kmart offers layaway, most people do seem to be unhappy with them as a whole, whether it be a Sears, Kmart, or box store, (or what ever they are called.)As a customer I can understand why.

    Way to go Sears Holding!

    Maybe you should get someone in there that KNOWS how to run retail! You might have been able to save yourself. Also, LISTEN to your floor people, the people who work with the customers every single day. They know more than any company office personnel could ever know. Yet the office people are the ones who come up with all these ill chosen decisions in a feeble attempt to save it's crumbling foundation. It doesn't work!

    Soon Sears Holding - you will be no more unless you can get your act together!

  26. If you would get some of the top management from the Bazetta, Twp. K Mart dist. ctr to retire or downsized you could probably run it effectively enough to make a profit. How many times do you have to pay a C.E.O. to retire after he makes bad decesions that effect everyone sown to the store level ?

  27. Kmart is closing the small Glenwood Springs one.

  28. I worked at Kmart for 15 years. The last 13 of those years were spent at store #4390 on Semoran Blvd. in Orlando, FL. That store just closed and I am sick about it. First, Kmart opened too many stores. We would have people drive from everywhere to the Orlando store and we made good money from the late 70s to mid 90s but more stores meant more overhead and less customer base. The biggest mistake Kmart made was going to mostly part time help. Yes, it helped their benefits (no insurance and only 1/2 vacation) but they lost employees who felt invested in their store. When I was full time, it was "my" store. I cared how it looked. Another mistake is whoever buys merchandise for these stores. No sense of what people actually buy and they buy crap. Invest in your people, invest in your product and you will succeed. Kmart did not do that.

  29. is walla walla kmart closing

  30. I agree with so many of these comments I dont know where to start. I am at one of the Kmarts that got the axe this time around. There is so much lack of communication we dont know what end is up. If you read the Sears Holdings news they talk about hiring this person or that and im sure they get top dollar. what about us little people? where they cut our hours and if they listen to they customers most of them complain that there is not enogh help if they would invest in there employees they would take customers away from the competetion hands down. closing the store in our area is a real big mistake as im sure it was the case in many areas. Mr. Kreisge had a dream when he opened his little five and dime and I think Kmart would had done alot better if they would had let Sears Sink. Kmart bought out sears and we had to follow Sears rules. Kmart Didnt have the CEO to handle the backbone of the company and they had to hire people to ruin it why didnt they look further and they would had survived

    1. And some people wonder why the customer service is bad. I over heard an associate the other day talking about how the state had raised the minimum wage by 30 cents yet all the people who have been there for years got nothing. Nothing! That's like saying to your people, "you don't matter and I don't care how long you have been loyal to the company." I would be ticked too! That just stinks that a company can just ignore the very people who are essentially responsible for it's bottom dollar. People always forget the little people. Without them the company could not make any money at all. No wonder Kmart is failing. They deserve to fall if they can't treat their people with more respect and appreciation.

  31. whoah this blog is magnificent i like reading your posts. Keep up the great paintings! You understand, many persons are looking round for this info, you could aid them greatly.
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    1. Well aren't they just smart? NOT!!!
      What company in their right mind would first eliminate the position of Loss Prevention then not even 2 weeks later, remove the jewelry lead positions? Good luck with that one Kmart! This will make it near impossible to keep track of missing inventory! DUH!

      Should I say this on here? Probably not but it is a really really stupid move and I hope it bites them in the ass!

  32. I've only worked at Kmart for a little over a year and I am pretty sick of it! I make min. wage and was lied to TWICE about a job position that was given to someone else and then asked me to manage our resteraunt and pay me a dollar more an hour! Are you freaking kidding me?! I use to work in a factory over a decade ago and made over twice as much as I make now and I walked away from that job due to stress and health concerns and now corporate just added more crap to the list of things we have to to! I was livid! When the DM comes all the managers freak out but I could care less because as far as I'm concerned they put their clothes on just like I do- one piece at a time!! While it will be bad that it will hurt the little people for Kmart to shut its doors;the ultimate hurt will be felt by the people that have been driving the fancy cars and living in the big houses but mistreating their workers ! I've seen it happen before and if they don't get it right it will happen to Kmart!

  33. Kmart/Sears= next Ames, Zayres, Hills, Gold Circle, Caldors, The Malls in general and the list goes on and on.. so many good stores that are now long gone!! and it's all thanks to places like Walmart, the Internet, and Outlets who are 1 stop shopping and other ppl who've gotten lazy to get up and get out of the house to shop nowadays LOL funny as it may seem but it's so true! Yes Kmart made a horrible choice in going with another dying company such as Sears- common Sears! who even shops there I don't- they never had anything that's even remotely appealing you can't buy anywhere else for a better price that's made better too def. the quality of all their products have gone down too but never the prices and being a young Republican in his mid 20's I'm very conservative and look to save money not blow it on poorly made crap by poorly run business that at one time were nice to shop at when I was a kid with my family! They've had a bad rep for so long it's no wonder why they've been dying and now Kmart is dying even more and they will soon join the "Retail Graveyard with so many of the pasts greats No Joke. They don't file for bankruptcy now they will lose even more- just give up and throw in the towel Walmart has your number for years now haha

  34. im a big fan of kmart its so cheap cant believe there closing down another store

  35. Save K Mart? Save the Nation?
    tZOOM Group is looking to either Buy Out troubled K Marts or fix the lack of profitability. Nevertheless creativity drives profit! To fund tZOOM to make the Save K-Mart offer K-Mart Employees, K Mart Stock Holders or even K-Mart Corporate itself are urged or invited to donate for this cause. Due various business secrets which, obviuosly will not be revealed at this time, tZOOM stands at the ready to innovate a method that can cause over a 700% increase in profitabilty and all but eliminate out of pocket paid out for payroll. tZOOM further intends to reward employees comming on board or staying on board with an extensive profit sharing employee contract rider & benefits package that includes the enabling of cash generation far beyond enployees present earnings.But the cause is just not a mere saving of K Mart here. In fact, and in step with saving our nation out of its monsterous financial mess, KM employees will be asked to ignor their new financial win fall as it comes and follow the new policy & the tZOOM example to all file corporate and individual taxes without loop holes i.e. short form. According to most experts, the country is trouble, real, real bad trouble. tZOOM Group is concerned that experts like Porter Stansberry and the like are way better that half right. That leaves this nation doomed.
    Things could go bad within a year or a month, even a week! No Jobs, No Food, No Gas, and for all of you in denial, No Bars or Clubs. No Drink FOR YOU!
    We, as a nation, can set the stage to financial recovery none of the experts saw comming nor thought possible. If everyone waits as doze nothing "too late" will become reality. Please Act Now. Thank you in advance. Respectfully: Michael w/tZOOM



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