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Kmart Auto Bays, 4400 Fort Jackson Boulevard: late 2000s   49 comments

Posted at 2:14 am in stores

I was cutting through the Fort Jackson Boulevard Kmart parking lot the other month, from Wildcat Road to Crowson Road, and noticed something I thought a bit odd: The store's former auto service bays were up for rent. I guess it makes sense from an economic standpoint (though to date there have been no takers), but it's kind of depressing, like the Dutch Square Belk closing off most of the third floor. It says not only weren't we doing well with our auto business, but we don't think we'll ever in the future revamp and give it another go -- in fact, we don't think we'll even need this part of the building again.

Written by ted on April 30th, 2010

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49 Responses to 'Kmart Auto Bays, 4400 Fort Jackson Boulevard: late 2000s'

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  1. The Kmart on Charleston HWY is doing the same thing. The for lease sign has been up there quite a while.

    jamie

    30 Apr 10 at 6:46 am

  2. I don't belive I have seen a K-mart that offered car repair service in years. At the time it closed, the service bays at the K-Mart on Bush River Road were being used as its garden center. Given its current ownership by Sears, you would think it is something they might want to get back into .

    Tom

    30 Apr 10 at 7:01 am

  3. Kmart bought Sears. Don't know why everyone assumes Sears bought Kmart.

    Kenneth

    30 Apr 10 at 4:01 pm

  4. Kmart filed for bankruptcy in early 2002 and it was that spring that these auto bays were shut down at area Kmarts

    Andrew

    1 May 10 at 4:50 pm

  5. Kmart had a contract with Penske Auto Care to provide the car services at their stores. When Kmart went under, Penske pulled out of their contract.

    Jason

    3 May 10 at 6:04 am

  6. 2002 is about when the auto service area at this ("my") K Mart closed. Funny story - I was getting my oil changed there once and it seemed to be taking forever. They kept telling me they were almost done. They seemed worried or nervous. Turns out they LOST MY CAR KEY! One of the workers had to drive me home to get a spare and then make a copy in the store.

    I love my little K-Mart that i have been going to since 1965, but they have cut staff to the point where they only open the garden center on Saturdays. Any other time you have to ask them to unlock it to get something. They also are saving money on air conditioning and some days it is just HOT in there.

    Dennis

    4 May 10 at 2:21 am

  7. Joe

    24 Feb 12 at 3:38 pm

  8. My goodness...I'm waiting to hear from several others on here who won't surprised but I wonder, with the new Whole Foods going in, what will this mean for the soon-to-be former Kmart #4043

    Andrew

    24 Feb 12 at 4:11 pm

  9. another interesting thought: this building was built the same year as Whitney Houston's birth and the Kmart that occupies it is closing a few weeks after her passing

    Andrew

    24 Feb 12 at 6:25 pm

  10. I can't believe that after 49 years of being here, that this Kmart is closing. I remember when it opened in 1963 and they had this BIG promotional thing where they were going to drop thousands of ping-pong balls where you could break them open and win different prizes that Kmart offered. It was a BIG mess and that little parking lot must have had over 500 people it seemed at one time all running after these ping pong balls being blown around by the wind from the Helicopters and the wind too. I think I was about 4 years old at the time.

    Del

    25 Feb 12 at 12:04 pm

  11. I wonder what will go in the old Kmart building next? or will they just tear it down and build something else?

    Del

    25 Feb 12 at 12:05 pm

  12. "As God is my witness, I thought ping-pong balls could fly!"

    ted

    25 Feb 12 at 2:27 pm

  13. I have visions of it becoming either Burlington Coat Factory of Kohl's but I lack the psychic powers to know how it'll play out

    Andrew

    25 Feb 12 at 3:49 pm

  14. This is sad. I bought many Matchbox and HotWheels cars here as a kid. Many fond memories of time spent with my grandma.

    Might have to go buy a few there as a final farewell to the store.

    tonkatoy

    27 Feb 12 at 7:37 am

  15. My Grandad bought me my first watch there back in 1964. It was a Hopalong Cassidy watch. I still have it, and it still winds up and runs. It's odd they made a really small watchband THAT small for a 5-6 year old kid. Eventhough the store is showing it's age, and there's not a lot to choose from, it'll be missed after being there and seeing for the past 49 years. Did this Kmart have a Grocery store at one time?

    Del

    27 Feb 12 at 9:40 am

  16. Terrible news. Aside from memories of going to this store since it opened, it is an extremely handy place to get a lot of things. So much easier than Wal Mart. So much cheaper than Target.

    Dennis

    27 Feb 12 at 11:08 am

  17. When I was little, my dad would drop my mom and I off at the laundromat that used to be just around the corner from this K-Mart. While the clothes were drying, we would walk over to the K-mart. This was around 1975-76, as I recall - we got a washer and dryer at home sometime in 1977. Strangely, that store has always seemed run-down and dirty to me. Mostly, I remember eating at the lunch counter/restaurant that was in the back, and buying hot-wheels. If I recall correctly, they were $0.99 and with tax it was $1.03 to buy one hot-wheels car.

    Larry

    27 Feb 12 at 12:36 pm

  18. Larry - the lunch counter in the back was called the Red Grille. Hardly ever saw anyone eating there but employees. It was more like a very small cafeteria with decent food. They also had an old fashioned hot popcorn stand where the jewelry kiosk is now. With Icees and these odd little bologna, cheese and lettuce sandwiches on hamburger buns stacked up three in a bag for a dollar (!). They were actually delicious, but I'm a redneck thru and thru.

    Dennis

    27 Feb 12 at 12:56 pm

  19. Del -- there never was a K Mart grocery store, but the left half of the building was a no frills grocery called Three Guys or something like that. You had to bring your own bags and a lot of merchandise was plopped on pallets warehouse style. It was also a Ben Franklin crafts store for a long time.

    Way back in the day, that little building in the parking lot was a thriving slot car track. I would go and just watch guys race while my folks were in K Mart.

    Dennis

    27 Feb 12 at 1:04 pm

  20. Wasn't the cafeteria in back near the sporting goods?

    I bought what was probably the last cassette only (no radio) Walkman there in spring 1989.

    We used to always go in through the garden department because it was a lot faster to check out there. Compared to what's out there today, the garden department was REALLY small.

    tonkatoy

    27 Feb 12 at 2:08 pm

  21. My Dad used to take me to that Slot car track building back in '66 to race my Mustang Fastback GT that he put together for me. I think he bought it from Snipes originally, but not sure. I do remember though that the Kmart in Cayce/Charleston Hiway had somekind of a grocery store, but dont remember the name of it off hand.. I do remember Ben Franklin's though in the early to mid 80's.

    Del

    27 Feb 12 at 2:59 pm

  22. I don't recall this Kmart havign a lunch counter but I have very vague recollections of Kmart #7410 (6169 St. Andrews Road, Seven Oaks Shopping Center) having one in the early-mid 90s but my recollection was that it had little to no operations (I was early Elementary age at the time so my memories are very vague).

    Up until sometime in the 2004-08 timeframe, Kmart #4141 (1500 Charleston Highway, West Columbia) had a Little Caesars diner of some sort. My grandmother and I were going to have dinner there one night but it fell through on two occasions. A lady I knew that worked there during the summer-fall of 2009 told me it had closed and that while people do come in asking for it, it apparently didn't do enough business to keep going.

    Kmart#7616 (748 West Main Street, Lexington) still has a diner, it even has a golden spatula from WLTX's restaurant reviews. It used to have Little Caesars but that went away around 2003. You can still get a pizza there but it's not affiliated with Detroit-based Little Caesars.

    Kmart #7420 (2750 Roberts Avenue, Lumberton, NC) does still have a Little Caesars-Kmart deal of some sort but I'm curious to know what that's all about and have been eyeing it for over 7 years now but haven't made it yet. Little Caesars's location store locator confirms its existence as well.

    This Kmart (#4043, 4400 Ft. Jackson Blvd.) had an Old America shop back in the 90s that used to sell 'crafty' type things but then they liquidated sometime around 1998 when Kmart went to the BIG Kmart format and expanded into Old America's old spot when following their liquidation. My late grandmother had some Easter decorations that came from there that I still use to decorate my own Easter village with.

    Andrew

    27 Feb 12 at 4:35 pm

  23. That's right..NOT Ben Franklin's but Old American is what was there in the 80's, but dont remember what was there before then..if anything.

    Del

    27 Feb 12 at 5:09 pm

  24. Old America was still there in the early 90s, but I don't recall exactly when they closed. Same thing with the little cafeteria.

    badger

    27 Feb 12 at 5:14 pm

  25. The grocery was at one time a Big Star which was a Colonial offshoot.

    ted

    28 Feb 12 at 3:03 am

  26. Speaking of Colonial Grocery's, what became of them along with D.W Grant stores or Roses 5 and dime? Does anyone else remember the Roses Store( I think it was Roses) on Assembly back in the mid 60's? It was across the street from The Market Restraunt.

    Del

    28 Feb 12 at 3:06 pm

  27. @Del, you'll find some info on Colonial in Groceteria.

    ted

    28 Feb 12 at 11:33 pm

  28. So when is this store supposed to close?

    tonkatoy

    1 Mar 12 at 7:32 am

  29. I have heard that Wal-Mart is eyeing this site for one of their smaller in-town stores. I imagine they would demolish the building and rebuild. The problem with the site is that it is located in a flood plain, and any significant alteration of the property would require fill dirt to be brought in to raise the elevation. That is what was done when the rebuilt the Advance Auto Parts near by.

    David

    1 Mar 12 at 8:55 am

  30. http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20120228/BUSINESS02/120228014/Tallahassee-s-Kmart-store-close-June?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7Cfrontpage%7Cp

    This says one particular Kmart in Tallahassee will close in early June and liquidation sales will begin in early April. That's far away, but the closing time (Late May / Early June) will probably be about the same for the Ft. Jackson Kmart.

    Joey

    1 Mar 12 at 3:39 pm

  31. The link doesn't show the full article, but when I googled it and clicked on it when I googled "Kmart store closing" I saw this.
    "Sears Holdings Corp.’s financial belt-tightening has reached Tallahassee — the Kmart store at 1701 Apalachee Pkwy. will close in early June, the company confirmed today.

    Sears Holdings added Tallahassee, Lake Mary and Davie Kmart stores to its Florida closings in the latest update of its shutdown of locations around the U.S. to raise cash. A total of 12 Kmarts nationwide are on that list, plus a Grand Essentials store and two Sears department stores.

    Sears Holdings could not give the total employees affected locally, but the number of workers per location ranges from 40 to 80 staff members.

    “A liquidation is going to start the first week in April and the store will close the beginning of June,” said spokeswoman Kimberly Freeley.

    The store’s pharmacy, however, is expected to close in about a week.

    Customers with prescriptions at the Kmart pharmacy will have that information transferred to another drugstore of their choice so they don’t have to obtain a new prescription from their doctor, Freeley said. Kmart personnel will help with that transition.

    “It’s definitely not the best situation,” said Mark Ramos, an associate at the Pizza Quick restaurant in the same shopping center. “Pretty much all of their employees come over here to get lunch.”

    Florida is the state most affected by Sears Holding’s decision in December to close as many as 120 U.S. locations as a way to shore up its finances. A total of 11 stores were shut then in Florida, including Sears stores in DeLand, Stuart, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Crystal River. Kmart locations closing were Fernandina Beach, Callaway, New Smyrna Beach, St. Augustine, Orange City and Pompano Beach."

    The liquidation sale details will probably be about the same for the Ft. Jackson Blvd location.

    Joey

    1 Mar 12 at 3:41 pm

  32. I was in there today and the manager said all they know is they are closing "sometime this summer."

    Big sign says No More Lay Aways at this Location.

    Garden Center is full of merchandise but was locked with the lights off. They've been doing that for a long time at this store I suppose because they are shorthanded.

    Dennis

    1 Mar 12 at 8:06 pm

  33. I wonder if the FJ-Kmart will have a "fixture" sale along with a "everthing 80% Off" Sale?

    Del

    1 Mar 12 at 9:18 pm

  34. I still say the St. Andrews Kmart should have been the one to get the Ax..not the FJ one. The entire 7 oaks Shopping has nothing going for it really.. It's heyday was in the late 70's.

    Del

    1 Mar 12 at 9:20 pm

  35. Seven Oaks Shopping Center does have a fair amount of vacant space...case in point:

    Food Lion #185 Closed in February 2010. That October, Big Lots #5123 moved in but still left 13,198 ft² vacant.

    They do have a few other shoppes but most of them close by dinnertime (but it's better than nothing I suppose)

    Curious Closet used to be next to Big Lots but that has moved out to Lexington. On the Kmart side, there used to be a shipping operation called 7 Oaks Pak & Mail that is no more, either.

    Should Kmart go under, Seven Oaks Shopping Center would be in major trouble...unless they can convince something big to move in their spot (which could happen)

    Andrew

    1 Mar 12 at 10:40 pm

  36. I remember when Radio Shack was there and there was a grocery store too originally, but cant remember which one.

    Del

    2 Mar 12 at 1:17 am

  37. I went there yesterday to relive old memories, and, sadly, not many were to be had. I guess the last time I had been in the store was spring of 1989, and while it hadn't changed a lot at that pint, it had changed a lot since then. I miss the all glass store front, the retro styled (and not on purpose, mind you) cafe, and old layout.

    And the matchboxes sucked. I didn't buy one. Whole experience was sad.

    I did note that the parking lot was as small as I remember, probably a third the size of the Cayce Kmart's lot.

    tonkatoy

    2 Mar 12 at 7:33 am

  38. Joey

    10 Mar 12 at 10:24 am

  39. the beginning of the end of Kmart #4043 has begun as the Pharmacy here has closed down and the pharmaceutical records have been transferred to Walgreens #6136 (4467 Devine Street) which is one of the Walgreens locations in town that is open 24/7 (even the Pharmacy)

    Andrew

    15 Mar 12 at 4:51 pm

  40. I still have my very first watch my Grandad bought me from this Kmart back in 1965. It's a Hopalong Cassidy watch, and it still works..sort of. Sad the memories will be gone soon.

    Saturday's child

    15 Mar 12 at 5:06 pm

  41. Folks, I have a few more details regarding the closing of Kmart #4043:

    The 50-year lease is up sometime this summer. While a date isn't final yet, look for it to close sometime in early June. The liquidations have already started so now is the time to peruse the 90,000 ft² store to see what type of deals you can get at liquidation prices.

    Andrew

    6 Apr 12 at 4:11 pm

  42. I heard Costco will be building here.

    I also heard that this is pretty close to the last day for them. Sees like I saw an 8-day sale ad the 26th.

    tonkatoy

    31 May 12 at 1:36 pm

  43. if it's true that Costco builds here, then this area will have quite the drawing range (esp. with Whole Foods opening up at Cross hill Market later this year)

    Andrew

    31 May 12 at 1:50 pm

  44. Interesting about Costco, if that pans out. When the Kroger was closing several years ago, the employees there had been told that Costco was interested in that site.

    badger

    31 May 12 at 1:57 pm

  45. (The Kroger, that is.)

    badger

    31 May 12 at 1:57 pm

  46. So I take it if Costco builds there..they plan on tearing down the old Kmart building? Out of all the Kmarts, they should have closed the one over on St. Andrews Rd, or the one in Dentsville OR the Cayce Kmart..not the Ft. Jackson one.

    Saturday's child

    31 May 12 at 5:05 pm

  47. I saw today that Kmart #4043 (4400 Ft. Jackson Blvd.) is in the last 4 days...

    Of the Kmarts Saturday's Child mentioned, I would say 7325 Two Notch Road (#4319) is most likely, with #4043 in Cayce in the middle with #7410 (6169 St. Andrews Road/Seven Oaks Shopping Center) being the least likely to go. Be that as it may, Sears Holdings is rumored to be on their last lags...

    Andrew

    31 May 12 at 6:12 pm

  48. From what I hear, the Dentsville Kwhopper is a ghost town, with hardly any staff. The one in Cayce is always fairly busy whenever I go in or go by.

    tonkatoy

    1 Jun 12 at 6:49 am

  49. Here we have the answer to the ever present question of what was the grocery store named!

    http://digital.tcl.sc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/rmaxey/id/528/rec/1203

    Kmart Food!

    tonkatoy

    11 Oct 13 at 9:21 am

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