Only 3 Kmarts remaining in the USA and I visited a store last week

Joined
Jul 26, 2020
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3,148
Location
FL
I had to travel down to Miami for business and went out of my way to visit one of the last 3 Kmarts remaining in the USA.

I bought about $40 of merchandise and it was sad seeing a once great company go down hill. There was no store closing signs but it’s obvious they probably have 3 months left. Lots of memories from the 1970’s when I first visited a Kmart with my siblings and parents. On the weekends Kmart was booming and store packed with customers. I remember getting excited to know we were headed to Kmart, especially going to the toy, sports equipment or shoe isle. LOL.

Do any BITOG’ers remember the freshly made delicious hogie subs, popcorn and delicious slurpees ? 🥲
The ’Blue Light‘ specials announced on the ceiling speakers that had customers running to see the good deals could be had for a limited time ?

The store I visited is in Kendall Lakes area of Miami and 50% of the store was blocked off to reduce the number of isles and shopping area. This store once had a automotive center. The last time I was in a Kmart before this one was the store in Key Largo about 10 years ago and even back then they were in a big decline.


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Joined
Feb 27, 2006
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Cincinnati
I grew up in my local Kmart on Southwestern Blvd. in Buffalo, NY. Was there at least 2-3 times a week from birth until we moved in 1995.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
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Clermont, Florida
It is very sad to see what happened to Kmart and Sears too. My brother worked at Kmart in the home improvement department in the early 70's before he joined the Army in 1974. He was glad to be working there. Kmart and Zayre were the only department stores we had in our town until we got the Macon Mall in 1976.

I was too young to care about the low prices but I do very well remember the blue light specials and the popcorn, cashews, sub sandwiches and Icees. Also the cafeteria in back of the store had great chicken noodle soup served in a thick paper bowl.

Does anyone here remember having to ask the clerk at the layaway counter in back of the store to hit the button to unlock the bathroom door?
 
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Joined
Feb 25, 2014
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Kansas
The writing has been on the wall for Kmart for quite some time. You had one company trying to buy another company and neither had any business letting that happen. They really didn't have any name brand quality electronics
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
938
Location
Michigan
When I first started driving our Kmart was the place to go for auto supplies. They reliably had Valvoline for less than $1 per qt and stocked AC filters for $1.99.
I still remember when they built the Kmart, it was a swampy area and they drove pilings all summer then backfilled it and let it sit over the winter then built the next spring. It was a big deal. Would have been sometime around 69 or 70
 

hrv

Joined
Sep 14, 2021
Messages
1,241
I had to travel down to Miami for business and went out of my way to visit one of the last 3 Kmarts remaining in the USA.

I bought about $40 of merchandise and it was sad seeing a once great company go down hill. There was no store closing signs but it’s obvious they probably have 3 months left. Lots of memories from the 1970’s when I first visited a Kmart with my siblings and parents. On the weekends Kmart was booming and store packed with customers. I remember getting excited to know we were headed to Kmart, especially going to the toy, sports equipment or shoe isle. LOL.

Do any BITOG’ers remember the freshly made delicious hogie subs, popcorn and delicious slurpees ? 🥲
The ’Blue Light‘ specials announced on the ceiling speakers that had customers running to see the good deals could be had for a limited time ?

The store I visited is in Kendall Lakes area of Miami and 50% of the store was blocked off to reduce the number of isles and shopping area. This store once had a automotive center. The last time I was in a Kmart before this one was the store in Key Largo about 10 years ago and even back then they were in a big decline.


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I remeber they had a good snack bar with Little CeazersPizza
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
2,762
Location
Texas, USA
Lots of Kmart childhood memories. Got to love the blue light. The store had been on the west end of my hometown in WY since I was a child, and for whatever reason they decided to move next to the brand new Walmart on the east side of town. That didn't go well. The building is now Harbor Freight and Hobby Lobby.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
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1,076
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Hedgesville, WV
S.S. Kresge's, Woolworths, Wards and Grants all seemed to get in trouble about the same time China took the cheap moniker from Japan. Renaming Kresge's to Kmart and then their association with Sear's stalled the inevitable but the last few times I was in Kmart before they closed it was like a ghost town in there, same with the last Sears before Macy's took over there spot in the Mall. A bygone age with lots of memories. Our Grandkids are going to be lamenting the days of Amazon and having to wait 2 days for delivery and the excitement of waiting for the Brown Truck. Doesn't seem the same somehow.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
2,749
Location
Illinois
When I first started driving our Kmart was the place to go for auto supplies. They reliably had Valvoline for less than $1 per qt and stocked AC filters for $1.99.
I still remember when they built the Kmart, it was a swampy area and they drove pilings all summer then backfilled it and let it sit over the winter then built the next spring. It was a big deal. Would have been sometime around 69 or 70
+2
They had a great auto section..... Probably not as well-stocked as a "real" auto parts store, but you could get tune-up parts, shock absorbers, spark plugs, brake pads.... Probably way more that I am forgetting too.

They had a good camera department too. Tons of stuff.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2021
Messages
1,388
I remember the Icee machines and pretzels. Buying lunch boxes and bookbags for the new school year.

Friend of mine worked at the little Caesars Pizza in the local Kmart and one day there was a struggle with security and shop lifters. A family was trying to head for the door with an unpaid loaded shopping cart. Pizzeria staff (3 people lol) cleared out and jumped in to assist security, subsequently brawling with the shop lifters on the ground. This was 20 years ago, no way this would be allowed to happen today. Shop lifters were stopped, no consequences.

Don't forget Kmart's foray into becoming and ISP of all things.

 

Dave Hess

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
3,148
Location
FL
+2
They had a great auto section..... Probably not as well-stocked as a "real" auto parts store, but you could get tune-up parts, shock absorbers, spark plugs, brake pads.... Probably way more that I am forgetting too.

They had a good camera department too. Tons of stuff.

Kmart even had their own branded oil filters. Some people sell them on eBay.

I don‘t know who made Kmart oil filters.

This last Kmart I visited only had a few automotive items not even worth taking a photo of.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
2,310
Location
A Barrier Island
Remember going to a Kmart in Darwin, Australia. I told a clerk how familiar it was to shop in the store. He said it was a fine Australian company. I just had to tell him it was American and the HQ were in Oklahoma.

So much for foreign relations.
🦘
 
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