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Thursday, August 2, 2012

MD: Gaithersburg Kmart

209 Kentlands Blvd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

This 108,482 sq ft store is in an affluent community (median household income nearby of around $90,000) and a thriving town center with pedestrian-friendly alleys and local shops, restaurants, gelato & chocolate stores, Whole Foods... etc. Wow! Good job, a Kmart in a "hip" and cool location! Seems like a rarity these days. And surprisingly, the exterior facade and the interior of this Kmart are pretty decent as well! We're not sure when this store opened, but it definitely does not feel like the worn and old 1970's Kmart that so many stores are.

Anyway, continue to read on for the many photos we took! Hope you will enjoy them, this Kmart has a few tricks up its sleeves.

This photo from JT designs. It looks fairly accurate!

The impressive exterior facade

Note the SHLD "powerhouse" brands. Or at least they used to be... first they appeared in Kmarts, then even more dilution occurred with contracts with ACE Hardware, and now it seems they're just another plain brand found at many places, even Costco.

Fairly typical Kmart entrance vestibule.

View immediately upon entering the store. It's not the best first impression... something most Kmart stores could work on.

Carts are to the left upon entering. We have a sneaking suspicion that's where the Little Caesars used to be, since there used to be one somewhere in the store. Note the flat-screen security-cam TV.

The softlines are on the left side of the store (directly straight from the entrance)

View of the entrance area

I like the directories. This store layout is a little unusual in that the pantry foods and the high margin cleaners (Tide detergent, bathroom supplies) are in the far rear corner of the store.

Also odd is that the customer service desk is in the middle of the store, far from the entrance and at the end of the cash registers.

Oh hey! I've seen you before in lots of other stores. Old-school price scanner. At least it still works.

For some reason, there were a lot of bed displays. I guess comforters have a high profit margin or something.

Sigh. Oh Kmart. Get the premium endcaps filled!!

yes, you did see this earlier. An internet cafe! More to come...

I don't know if this is a new trend, but a lot of sections are kind of "walled-in" with maze-like corners and so forth. Seems confusing to me.

Large seasonal area. Also note the contiguous "patio"-area of the garden center is connected to the store in an open fashion. There is an outdoors part of the garden center that you have to go out doors through.

The famous 'ol milk fridge. This is the food section in the rear of the store. 

Hi ladder! Whatcha doing there?

The appliance section. Not too bad, I guess.

The rear main walkway

Ok, the layaway is kind of hidden away because the aisles are parallel (not perpendicular) to it. Also, why would the MyGofer online pick-up be from here. The one reason to order online and pick it up at the store would be convenience and speed... but having the pick-up all the way as far as you can get from the entrance makes it more of a hassle.

"walled"-off electronics section

Like the bike rack!

An empty aisle near sporting goods.

Note the remodeled styles on the walls

Hey, a computer! Why wouldn't we just buy from Amazon then?

the "A" is missing from Kmart. Perhaps they know they don't deserve that grade?

Yes, it's the internet cafe! Probably added in the early 2000's when the store got a facelift. Now, none of the computers were working (most aren't even readily accessible as they are blocked by carts...) Doesn't this make you feel old?

I was puzzled by the random cup dispenser at one of the cashier lanes. What is it for? You'll find out...

The cash registers are interesting in that the cashier is at the end jutting out of the lane. Haven't seen that in very many Kmarts.

Oh! This is what the cups were for.

Of course, one of the machines is out of order.

Add caption

That's all, folks. Hope you enjoyed reading, and until next month!
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  1. I think was in the Kmart remodels of 2007 (the orange and brown remodels, with "Internet cafes"). But hey! New ceiling tiles! Woot woot!

  2. Good work! Your pictures tell the story clearly pointing current issues very clearly. I discussed my thoughts about Kmart revival(survival?) in

  3. I have some pictures of Super K 4935 Moon Township, PA if you would like them.

  4. Nice photos and great information about the store that will help SuperKmart shoppers looking for good deals in their area.

  5. This was actually part of the 2005/2006 remodel push. About the same time they tried three different designs: the brown/beige/orange one (this), the orange/yellow/green one found in some stores, and the more familiar white with red signs look. The latter one was what went forward.

    Most of the features and placement were typical for this design. I'd imagine customer service was originally where the carts are and the restaurant was to its right (guessing there are restrooms behind the cart wall). The pantry was usually stuck way in the back corner with the remodel. Something tells me its similar thinking to how you have to pass everything in the supermarket to get a gallon of milk and other things 'end up' in your cart along the way.



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