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Monday, November 28, 2011

Super Kmart, revisited



Store 3147, Kingsport TN (de-Superized), copied from other website

#3251, Indianapolis IN

#3251, Indianapolis IN

#3251, Indianapolis IN

Store 3555, Cambridge OH

#3575, Detroit MI

#3575, Detroit MI

#3575, Detroit MI

#3575, Detroit MI

#3575, Detroit MI

3785 Newport News, VA (This store pics from someone else's website, sorry I forgot who...)

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

3785 Newport News, VA 

#3786 Medina OH

#3910, Lorraine OH

4108 Portage, IN

4108 Portage IN

4203, Indianapolis IN

4203, Indianapolis IN

4203, Indianapolis IN

4438 Indianapolis, IN

4438 Indianapolis, IN

4438 Indianapolis, IN

4438 Indianapolis, IN

4745 Ashtabula, OH

4745 Ashtabula, OH (Note that it is in a mall!)

4745 Ashtabula, OH

4758 Concord, NC

4758 Concord, NC

4758 Concord, NC

4858 Caguas, Puerto Rico (!)

4910 Mentor OH

4913 Terre Haute, IN

4913 Terre Haute, IN

4928 Queensbury NY

4935 Moon Township, PA

4935 Moon Township, PA

4936 Unionstown PA

4936 Unionstown PA

4937 Chillicothe OH

4937 Chillicothe OH

4938 Round Lake beach IL

4938 Round Lake Beach IL

4939 Warren OH

4953 Charleston SC

4953 Charleston SC

4964 Hillsboro OH

4966 Cleveland OH

4966 Cleveland OH

4966 Cleveland OH

4966 Cleveland OH

4966 Cleveland OH

4966 Cleveland OH

4984 Tinley Park IL

4988 Norfolk VA

4995 Taylor MI

4995 Taylor MI

4996 Tucson AZ

4998 Roseville MI

4998 Roseville MI

7353 Johnson City TN

7525 Bradley IL

7525 Bradley IL

7634 Port Huron MI

7634 Port Huron MI

9814 Detroit MI

9814 Detroit MI

9814 Detroit MI

9814 Detroit MI

9814 Detroit MI

4997 Virginia Beach, VA

From our own blog, spotlight on the Fremont OH Super Kmart:
and the Lubbock Super Kmart
(both have since been de-supersized)



A brief unofficial history of Super Kmart Centers:
Kmart Corporation reached $1 billion in sales in 1966, a full 13 years before Wal-Mart reached that milestone, and opened its 2,000th store in 1981. But recognizing the rise of Wal-Mart, Kmart began trying to diversify in 1984, buying up a seemingly random collection of big boxes such as the Sports Authority, OfficeMax, Builder's Square and Borders Books and Music Group. By 1994 it abandoned the strategy , seeking instead for the one-stop shopping of a Super Center and by 1997  Kmart had converted 107 stores to Super K format. 

The first Super Kmart to be built was in Ohio, and the first existing Kmart to Super Kmart conversion was in 1994 (from a store that opened in 1992 in Fresno, California - with projections of $80 million/year in revenue for the Supercenter. This store is now a RV sales lot, while a Walmart Supercenter which opened next door is busy as ever). There were grand plans of converting most Kmart stores into Super Kmarts, or at least offer some groceries. In 1996 Super Kmarts hit $3.7 billion sales, and in 2001 pre-bankruptcy, there were 124 Super Kmarts. In 2002, the peak, there were 129 (out of 2113 Kmart stores), but then 12 were shuttered, and the trickle downward toward zero continued for the next decade...  But at the peak in 2002, Super K's sales per square foot have been estimated at a now-impressive for Kmart $308, below Wal-Mart's $400, but higher than the forecast for SuperTarget of $290 - and at that time, there were only 80 SuperTarget and 1180 Walmart Supercenter stores and 152 Meijer stores. Following the merger with Sears, a grand plan of Sears Essentials was hatched – first hybrid conversion opened in 2005 with public plans for 400 more by 2007, but a lack of investment quickly sank this potentially decent idea. Super Kmarts were an afterthought, and most stores were closed. In the recent years, the few remaining Super K’s have been “de-supersized” into normal Kmarts, such as those stores in Greensboro NC, Burlington NC, Lubbock TX, Thornton CO, Charleston SC, Fremont OH, etc, losing the grocery department. Sears Outlet sometimes took over the vacated space. The last few Super Kmarts are mainly in the midwest (Ohio, Michigan).

Super Kmart’s strategy may have been flawed – for example, papers have been published on the geographic locations of Super Ks. Many believed that Kmart expanded too broadly with locations far flung apart, resulting in insufficient market saturation, increasing both marketing costs and distribution issues. Distribution was probably a major problem – with the demise of the American Fare hypermarket and struggles with Fleming and other food distributors, Kmart never had the leadership to grow its local supplier, national supplier, and distribution truck networks as well as Wal-Mart. In the 1990’s, there were attempts at mergers with then-leading supermarket chains such as Albertsons, but ultimately, nothing resulted.

At any rate, we present a small collection of Super Kmart photos, most by our blog, some from other online sources (tried to give the credit). Many Super Kmarts had Olan Mills portrait studios, K-Cafes converted to Little Caesars, barber shops, banks, flowers, deli, auto centers, Kmart Express gas stations, etc… 

Map of remaining Super Kmart locations in the continental US, around 2010

Site plan of Johnson City TN Kmart 7353 with highlighting of the perishables section that would be replaced with a tenant such as Sears Outlet or sub-leased.


19 comments:

  1. I worked at the Moon Township, PA Super K in college and for several months after. It was fantastic working there.
    I still work for Sears Holdings and hope to get into the Kmart management training program.
    Sears Holdings actually has been investing in the store, including grocery side! New produce fixtures and coolers were being installed as of last week. I've heard that they are trying to make grocery work and then maybe expand again. Like you said, food Distrubution was a major factor to their failure. I think a Super K with Sears Auto, Sears Appliance showroom, Sears Hardware, and Sears Sporting goods would be best hybrid of Sears & Kmart.
    I wish my them the best.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, where did you get the site plan for the Johnson City Kmart? Is there a higher-res PDF available? Please respond soon.

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  3. So Charleston still has a full Super Kmart? If so, ill go and grab photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your talking about Charleston SC no, it was "de-superdized" too in late 2010.

      Delete
    2. Good News: There's an entire album of photos of Charleston's Super Kmart when it was a Super Kmart. Check out Ryan Okpych flickr photo-stream.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kidryano/4455699048/#

      Delete
  4. I think Charleston is either non-Super or closed entirely... not sure haven't been there in many years.

    Let me see how to load PDFs (the quality isn't that great to begin with, but it's better than the pic on this site)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I see a traditional 1970's era Kmart on Savannah Highway.

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  6. I find the Port Huron, MI Super Kmart photo to be amusing. Side by side with a Sam's Club? But apparently having an enemy next door has its advantages- just look at the full parking lot for both stores!

    What items customers can't get in warehouse quantities they'll gladly round out their shopping trip next door at Kmart! Maybe Kmart should entice more non-direct competitors as co-anchors and crowd magnets :) Who knows - maybe this would be the key to reviving and building a new generation of Super Kmarts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As our Super Kmart in Port Huron, Mi now closes

      Delete
  7. You can email it to me at earthREMOVETHISboundman@gmail.com, with taking out the "REMOVE THIS", of course.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here is a map of the Current Super Kmart stores https://www.google.com/fusiontables/DataSource?snapid=S3306147IsB also check out my own blog deadanddyingretail.blogspot.com

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  9. close em all, let God sort em out.

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  10. A lot of these stores were converted. As of now only 26 Super Kmart stores are still in operation. One of the Super Kmart stores (Portage, Indiana)is set to close with 79 other Kmart and Sears stores. I have a list of all Super Kmart stores that are still open here http://deadanddyingretail.blogspot.com/2011/10/current-kmart-supercenter-locations-as.html

    ReplyDelete
  11. I personally took all of those pictures of the Super Kmart in Newport News (which is really Tabb), VA,(except for the last one) back in April 2010. Needless to say, the staff at that store wasn't exactly pleased with that fact, and I was booted out of it. Luckily, I got all of the shots I needed, and its a good thing too, because just last year, the store was converted to a regular Kmart.

    That store is in poor shape at the moment, too. Growing up, my family always shopped at that store when it was at its height, so I have some attatchment to it. Now, it has no grocery section, no restaurant, no auto center, no barber shop, no bank, no arcade, rude staff, about 20 customers, empty, cluttered, unorganized shelves, and lousy selection.

    I have a love/hate relationship with the condition of the store. While its sad to see it take such a downfall, it's also very interesting to see how things have changed over time. I'm probably the only one who goes to the store and, every time, has to go to the hidden area that was once the cafe to see the old, unused seating booths and tables with hot sauce bottles on them. I'm just like that.

    ReplyDelete
  12. 1. 3575 is not in Detroit. It is in Madison Heights at the NW corner of 12 Mile/John R.
    2. Port Huron has a Sam's next door. It was probably a Pace Warehouse. That Super is the oldest one that I know of in SE MI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was also the largest when it was built

      Delete
  13. Central Indiana now has two Super Kmart left. Store 3251 pictured above on West Washington Street in Indianapolis is undergoing a refit to be rebranded into a "Big" Kmart format. Thus it will lose its deli, bakery and all of its grocery except for a very small two aisle format. People working in the grocery part are losing their jobs. Its sad really. There are not a lot of people who shop there anymore. At night, they do not keep even one-fourth of the parking lot lit which gives the store a closed look and an unsafe look. Much of the store's staff are demoralized and disenchanted with their working environment and let the customer's know how they feel about it too. The store seems sparsely staffed especially when trying to place a lay-a-way, you have to hunt someone down to get them to come back there.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 4995 is not in Taylor, MI. It is actually in Southgate, MI, on Fort Street near Pennsylvania. It will close permanently on October 12.

    ReplyDelete

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