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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More store closings...

In what has become almost a quarterly theme for the past decade, more Sears and Kmart stores are on the chopping block, although this time we only have reports of two (though there may be more that we are not aware of).

and we didn't post every announcement either...

recurrent commentary:
Example of a complete market exit:
and the pathetic remodeling effort:

This time the list is actually quite short, but this is a mid-year list, a random time to announce (not right after the holidays).

- Martinsburg, West Virginia Sears. 57 employees, open since 1991 in the Martinsburg Mall, this 68 thousand square foot one story store was on the small side for a full-line Sears. This mall houses a Wal-Mart, which when it turned into a Supercenter in the mid 2000's, closed off the interior entrances and thus basically very few people went into the actual mall. Now Mountain State University is planning on converting much of the retail space into student and learning areas.

- Royal Palm Beach, Florida Big Kmart at 10101 Southern Blvd. 59 employees, this 89.404 sq ft store will be replaced by Burlington Coat Factory.

Bing maps

Excerpt from an article, “Twin Titanics” or turnaround—which way are Sears and Kmart headed?, by Lauren Daniels:

The current performance of Sears is a barely recognizable to the Sears of the past. At its strongest, Sears was the nation’s most prominent retailer; accounting for 1 percent of the gross national product.
“Does Lampert really want to turn Sears around?,” questioned Lewis. “We have seen no investment into the core of the business, the retail sector.”
Lewis believes Lampert is deleveraging the brands for a soft landing instead of a quick collapse like Borders Group Inc. and Linens ‘n Things.
“The overarching strategy has been cash management, to gently lower the ‘Twin Titanics’ into the ocean,” argued Lewis. “The way to do that is to give the public and Wall Street the impression of action.”
full article here:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Philadelphia - Central City Big Kmart

Philadelphia Big Kmart at the Gallery at Market East
Store #3953
901-99 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Sorry about not posting the comprehensive Super Kmart blog post yet...  things have been a little busy and haven't got time to finalizing it. Also coming in the next couple months for our Kmart series - we will be reporting from Bowling Green, Kentucky; Miami, Florida; and Hyattsville, Maryland - so a lot to look forward to!

Anyway, this 122,254 square foot 2-story urban Big Kmart is probably one of the "crown jewels" of the Kmart real estate - prime location in a dense urban area, far (at least previously) from the reaches of Wal-mart and Target. It is literally in the heart of the city, surrounded by the hubs of PHL's mass transit and within minutes of walking by Chinatown, the Convention Center, Reading Terminal, Thomas Jefferson University, and the historic commerce district of Market Street. Unfortunately, the store itself is far from a crown jewel to shop at - though it's not bad by any means for a Kmart. The hours of the store seem to hint that it targets people who work in downtown or otherwise commute on the bus/subway lines through it, as the store closes fairly early for a Kmart. 

Mon: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Otherwise, the layout of the store molds to the Gallery at Market Street mall, a 1.1 million sq ft mall built in 1977 in which the Kmart is smack dab in the middle of - literally, the mall runs under and on both sides of it. The Kmart site was originally Gimbel's, then Stern's, then Clover's, before becoming Kmart in 1999, according to this post at LabelScar 

It's a little odd that Kmart would be one of the flagship stores in such premium real estate, so we'll see how long it lasts - my bets is that as the area is redeveloped, if Sears can find a buyer at a satisfactory price, this store may be sold for its real estate value in the future.

One of the main street level entrances on Market Street

The view from the main Market Street entrance

Jewelry is the closest to this door

This store has a lot of Philadelphia pride. Odd that clearance and jewelry line this entrance, though.

Apparel takes up most of the ground floor. Note the K Cafe!

K Cafe open for business!

Looks like original signage!

This is one of the ground level exits to the other side of the mall. There are at least 5 main  entrances to the store!

Up the escalator...

The upper level exit to the mall

Signage for mygofer and sears online order pickups... don't really see how it is much different from Wal-mart's site to store

It's a little difficult to find things without good directories, and also without the weekly ads anywhere around the store.

One of the upper level exits

here's the shift assignments for our visit date! This clipboard was lying at the cash register where we were checking out,  was putting things into bags and saw it next to the bags. The Cafe is run by one person!

The pantry (I can't really call it a grocery) section had much to be desired.

the Price Scanner has Super Kmart logo!

The view of the upper floor from the West wing of the Gallery mall

The 10th street entrance

View of the store from Chinatown. Not sure if city codes allow it, but the whole mall could definitely use better signage. The 2009 Market Street commission was looking at ways to improve the looks and function of this area.

Philadelphia's Chinatown.

View of the area

That's all from the Big Kmart at the Gallery at Market Street East, in  Center City/Downtown Philadelphia!
Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for more posting!


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