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.
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.|
|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!