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Kmart, Inlet Square (Murrells Inlet): April 2014   6 comments

Posted at 12:17 am in closing

What with all the chatter lately about Sears and Kmart I thought I would *finally* get up these shots of the former Kmart at Inlet Square in Murrells Inlet. Part of the delay was I thought I had some other shots with the closing signage up somewhere, but if I did, I can't find them.

Anyway, this store opened, in the 80s as I recall, with great fanfare as it was the first Kmart anywhere to be attached to a mall, all the others up until that point being freestanding. That meant it was a bit of a square peg in a round hole in some ways: for instance, you could not take your shopping carts from Kmart into the rest of the mall (other than directly to and from the entrances).

The experiment apparently worked (for a while) as a similar attached store later opened at Briarcliff Mall (now Myrtle Beach Mall) though it too is now gone.

Here is a contemporary WBTW story on the store closing. It's particularly interesting as it gives the viewpoint of another merchant in the mall, who is saying essentially "Well, it's hurting me, but at least we still have Penny's, Belk and the theaters", the first and last of which have both now also closed..

I believe there is now a Planet Fitness in this space, I will try to get some shots next time I drive by (hopefully in the daytime).

Written by ted on January 11th, 2017

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6 Responses to 'Kmart, Inlet Square (Murrells Inlet): April 2014'

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  1. Every time I hear or read about another Kmart closing I can't help but think what a shame. In the 60's and 70's, Kmart was a big part of my life. Back then if my family or I needed or wanted anything we usually went to Kmart or Sears.

    Funny how times have changed. If I need or want anything now I usually get it from Amazon, excluding the obvious of course. For example, I even purchase my bathroom tissue from Amazon now. A 12 pack of the Scott 1000 sheet rolls at BI-LO cost $11.99, a 27 pack from Amazon is $17.98. More than twice as much for $6.00 more. I am a Amazon Prime member and get free 2 day shipping, delivered right to my door. If I don't need it TODAY, why wouldn't I order from Amazon? At the big box stores we are limited to the 2 or 3 different brands they carry, at Amazon they have dozens of choices.

    I guess I am partially responsible for the Kmart closings but dang, when I can get more than twice as much of something for about 36% more cost, why not. And unless I kick the bucket in the next few months, I'm going to use it.
    Another example is steel toe safety boots for my job. I can get the same boot for $99.00 at Amazon compared to $145.00 locally.

    Okay, my comment is starting to look like an advertisement for Amazon so I'll leave it at that.

    Rick

    12 Jan 17 at 6:41 pm

  2. This brings back some memories. I grew up in North Myrtle Beach in the 80s and 90s and Briarcliff Mall was our hang out. Until you mentioned it above, I'd forgotten that there was a Big K in that mall too. Now it's a Bass Pro Shop I believe.

    Justin B

    12 Jan 17 at 7:59 pm

  3. I was at Briarcliff just recently. It's definitely looking a little ragged. Not as bad as Columbia Mall, but definitely a lot of vacancies and Books-A-Million ditched the cafe for a serve yourself fro-yo stand.

    On the other hand, it's got a comedy club, and electric animals you can race around the concourses.

    ted

    12 Jan 17 at 9:49 pm

  4. I hate to see Kmart go down like this as I have enjoyed shopping Kmart plenty over the years but I'm afraid they've been too sluggish to adapt to the changing times...

    I wish Kmart could get someone that could figure out how to retool them to bring them back into the game but I'm afraid it isn't much more than wishful thinking on my part...

    Andrew

    13 Jan 17 at 8:25 pm

  5. Actually, there were lots of Kmart stores attached to malls way before this. I can think of at least four Kmart-anchored malls in Michigan alone that predate this: Westwood (Marquette), Hampton Square, Cherryland, and Alpena. The Westwood one was different in that it opened both to the mall and to the parking lot, while all the others opened only to the mall just like this one.

    I believe the very first Kmart in a mall was somewhere in New York in the early 70s.

    Bobby

    17 Jan 17 at 12:41 pm

  6. Hmm. Well, perhaps it was the first in the southeast. My memory is that local media made a lot of the uniqueness of the setup.

    ted

    17 Jan 17 at 11:44 pm

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