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Kmart Store 3168, 99 N Arrowwood Road: 5:30pm 8 November 2009   60 comments

Posted at 10:18 pm in closing

Does Kmart even have a business stragegy anymore? Fabian tactics work if your opponnent needs to keep sending home for men, money and elephants, none of which is the case for Wal Mart, whose new store on the site of the old Bush RIver Mall doomed this Kmart location. If your strategy is "close a store whenever Wal Mart opens one", you might as well just turn the lights off now. I remember the strategy during the dot-com bubble, and the Martha Stewart strategy before she went to jail, but what is it now?

Hardee's decided to not go head-on with or try to out-McDonald McDonald's with their "Thickburger" campaign, and seem to have gotten some traction with it. Target seems to have found a viable "almost as cheap as Wal Mart, but nicer" strategy, why can't Kmart? You would think that after all the effort and money they spent buying Sears they could leverage that brand somehow, or they could always rebrand their stores with the historic and fondly remembered S. S. Kresge nameplate and try to refocus that way.

I've never run so much as a hot-dog cart, so I can't pretend to know the answer, if indeed there is one, but keeping old looking, poorly stocked stores like this one open without any refits until Wal Mart moves in isn't it!

I suppose it wouldn't bother me except I have a certain residual fondness for Kmart since we shopped a good bit there while I was growing up. Mostly it was the Two Notch or Fort Jackson stores, but if we were on the right side of town, it could be this one as well. Kmart is the only store I've ever been lost in, the store I brought my first LP in (The Beach Boys 2-disc "Endless Summer" for $5.25) and the first place I would go when shopping on my own if I ever needed a hammer or a light bulb or anything like that. I even remember the old-style "Blue Light Specials" where they would literally drag a flashing blue light cart to the shelves with the special promotion items.

Oh well, or as the clerks used to be remided with a sticker on the register: TYFSAK.

UPDATE 19 Aug 2009 -- Well, I guess they do have a stragegy:

or perhaps it's just a hope, "Savings Are Here to Stay". And I'm pretty sure that's not how to spell Arrowwood.

UPDATE 14 Septmber 2009: Added an older, but better hilltop picture above.

UPDATE 9 November 2009:

Well the store finally closed yesterday evening. As it happened, I was in the area having had lunch at Fuddruckers, so I stopped by. The store was basically operating out of a small square area in front that was formed with walls of shelving moved to semi-enclose the space. They weren't actually keeping people out of the back part of the store, just indicating that there was nothing to buy back there, so I walked around behind the area to get some pictures of the vast empty spaces.

As the final half hour of the store's life started, the announcer came on and said that everything was now 95% off. I hadn't really planned to buy anything, and indeed there wasn't much left to buy, but anytime there's a 95% off sale, some sort of "There must be something I can use" reflex kicks in, and I started actually looking on the shelves.

In the event, I found some of those electrical sockets that you screw into edison-base light fixtures to make them into electrical outlets -- something I need every ten years or so, and got a number of those. I also picked up some of those "make one phone jack into two phone jacks" plugs, a Rand McNally map, and some sort of Disney Hannah Montanna memory card that claims to have songs on it though I'm not even sure I have a reader for that format.

As I was checking out, the announcer was saying, "and if you know anyone who's hiring, let your cashier know", which was sad, but I suppose very appropos.

After I left, I went over to Dutch Square for a little while then came to the parking lot to take an exterior picture of the storefront and roadside sign. Then it occurred to me to drive up to the Dutch Square parking lot again, and take a few shots from the hill over Hardee's.

The blue-light is now dark.

UPDATE 22 August 2012 -- As mentioned by commenter Andrew, something is going on at this old Kmart. The front doors have been boarded up, but with a new access, and there are construction dumpsters out front. I don't know if the Remington College poster on the building indicates that they will be expanding from across the parking lot into this building or if they just leased the right to hang a billboard for their operation (in the OfficeMax) there. At any rate, there is no visible construction permit to give any better idea of what is happening:






UPDATE 1 October 2012 -- Construction is going on:






UPDATE 7 October 2019: Add map icon, update tags.

60 Responses to 'Kmart Store 3168, 99 N Arrowwood Road: 5:30pm 8 November 2009'

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  1. In case anyone is curious about the actual discounts (like I was), I went over there at lunch and here is what I found:

    The store is already looking a little picked over. Or else anything of value was sent to other stores. Discounts are as follows:

    Linens - 20%
    Healthcare & Beauty - 0 to 20%
    Electronics - 10% movies, 20% major electronics, 10% for video game accessories, 0% for the games and systems
    Toys - 20%
    Auto - 0 to 10%
    Home and Garden - 10 - 50% depending on items
    Kitchen Appliances - 10%
    Sporting Goods - 0 to 20%
    Clothing - 0 to 20%

    That's not everything, but that'll give you some idea. Most stuff was 20%.


    19 Aug 09 at 11:42 am

  2. Kmart was founded back in the day when store chains owned the properties underneath their stores as well as the building. Everybody in retail leases space these days. So, Kmart was mainly a real estate holding company when it emerged from bankruptcy a couple years ago. It used its real estate assets to buy Sears. Kmart keeps operating Kmart stores solely to keep the real estate value of those buildings and property intact. They have no interest in perpetuating the Kmart store name. They're slowly letting those go to make Sears like a Kohls, except with a hardware section.


    19 Aug 09 at 1:14 pm

  3. I worked there in the summer of '88. I went in there a year or so ago and my skin crawled all over. I could walk in that store w/ my eyes closed and know where I was, just by smell, not being in there for 20 years. It was working in that KMart that I decided I would never go into retail. Having said that, that store has been there as long as I can remember. There used to be a restaurant/grill in the back, almost identical to the Woolworth in Dutch Square. Their ICEEs were a treat for me back in the day when my mom used to take me there. Also gumballs for a penny!! Like Ted, I bought many 45s and LPs there. I remember the tape cases that had holes in them where you could handle the tapes but not remove them out of the cases. I still don't understand how the one in St. Andrews has prospered.


    19 Aug 09 at 3:08 pm

  4. Read in The State last week that the "official" reason for this K-mart's closing is that their lease was up for renewal and they decided nopt to renew.


    25 Aug 09 at 5:32 am

  5. My mom worked at this store when it first opened back in the 70's And I worked there as a manager from 1996 until 2001 when they wrongfully let me go. They cost me my house and a lot of other things I lost. I have not shopped at any K-mart since then. Im glad to see it close, I hope they all close.


    26 Aug 09 at 12:32 pm

  6. BOUT TIME!!! - KMART - as far as I am concerned this place has long since closed...horrible selection, poorly staffed (in many ways)....the one in Irmo is a little newer but still sucks! The only thing I can see is their pricing has gotten a little more in line.....people will go to French owned crappy Target (especially women) WAY before the ever would venture in a K - Fart ! This place is only loved by the blue-hairs! I am sad for the lil old ladies, but they will be happy in the long run and find out what they have been missing...EVERYTHING!

    Mark C

    29 Aug 09 at 3:59 pm

  7. Target is not owned by the French. It is a U.S. company based in Minneapolis.


    29 Aug 09 at 8:18 pm

  8. I have worked at this location for a few years now and have seen a lot of good and bad with the company. Kmart has been slow to adapt to the times, and when they do change they seem to forget to adjust their system to any real extent to make these changes effective. However they do have a few things going for them, a smaller store seems to draw in people who get lost in mega stores. I like that they are more than willing to promote from within the store. It would of been nice to see a company who cares for their employees but it is not with this company. Nobody is being offered any transfers of any type, infact none of the local Kmarts are able to hire us until a week after the store has closed. They have promised us interviews with other companies, for unemployment to come in and help get that started and none of this has happend. The sale is now drawing to a close and I will tell you that the deals are pretty darn good. Take the time stroll around what is left you never know what you may find.

    Kmart worker

    19 Oct 09 at 7:53 pm

  9. Ted -
    The store has totally closed at this point. I drove by there today and they were removing the signage from the building by crane.



    9 Nov 09 at 8:35 pm

  10. Yeah, I was there yesterday 15 minutes before the final closing. Everything was 95% off -- I picked up some electrical fittings and telephone jacks. Kind of sad, the announcer was saying "And if you know anyone who's hiring, tell your cashier".

    I should have some pics up this evening as an update.


    9 Nov 09 at 10:34 pm

  11. Kmart is a 60's to early 70's store. The one left on Ft. Jackson Blvd. has been open since 1963 and still going. There's not much to choose from anymore and they are too high priced. The old store is only a former shell of itself. But I say from '63 through the mid 70's was the best time for Kmart. I dont care for the one over on St. Andrews Rd, infact, I'm surprized that one is still around as well as the one over in Dentsville. I think Kmart as a chain/company is on it's last legs though due to places like Target and Walmart. What year did the Kmart on Bush River open?
    I worked retail for just under 30 years, and I dont miss it at all.


    10 Nov 09 at 10:12 am

  12. I know a lady who worked at the Cayce Kmart and she told me that this one had a lot of management issues...last time I made it in this one, the intercom produced a feedback of some sort when someone got on it


    6 May 10 at 10:43 pm

  13. If you want to see a KMART that should have closed YEARS ago, the old one at Ft. Jackson Blvd. is just too outdated. The building is showing it's age (47) regardless of what they try to do to it. It may have been a good store back in it's heyday when Carolina Skateing Rink was across the street along with the Drive-In where the former Family Mart/Kroger building is..but they should have closed the old Kmart years ago, but suprizing they still do a good business most time especially during Christmas. I guess thanks to Ft. Jackson they still are keeping it alive.


    7 May 10 at 10:43 pm

  14. Del - so if the Ft. Jackson K-Mart "still does a good business ... especially at Christmas" -- how come it "should have closed years ago" ?


    9 May 10 at 9:08 pm

  15. Having to deal with the local Kmart's as a vendor was probably some of the worst work I've ever had to do and this store was by far one of the worst that I had to deal with. Mismanaged inventories, and broken fixtures always led me to wonder why it was still open, even into the late 2000's.

    That one on Ft. Jackson Blvd, regardless of how well it does during Christmas would definitely be one that I would close.


    10 May 10 at 7:01 am

  16. I was in the ft jackson one earlier in the year, it was a ghost town. Only time I go into kmart is when they have something I need that I would get at walmart, but going into walmart would be like doing battle.


    7 Jul 10 at 8:42 am

  17. Ok it has become apparent to me that the 360° Sports Grill up the road from this Kmart right before the stoplight at Morninghill (before you get to the I-26 bridge) *coming from this Kmart* has closed...I never made it in but it looked like I could have handled going but never made it...the signage was off the building and there weren't too many people there


    21 Jul 10 at 6:36 pm

  18. My wife spoked to the owner of 360 Sports Grill while he was trying to open it. He wanted to originally have a "family" bar-b-q place there, but decided that having a strip club next door would kill any "family" business there, so he decided to run a sports bar instead.


    22 Jul 10 at 5:45 am

  19. Wasn't there a shooting at the 360? The place never looked like it had much patronage.


    22 Jul 10 at 5:46 am

  20. 360 was geared to a particular an ethnic segment. The owners have owned a few other spots in town that have had a reputation of not earning money from the patrons inside.


    22 Jul 10 at 9:32 am

  21. ok so several weeks ago I had a dream that this fmr. Kmart was about to come back online...


    29 Dec 10 at 8:37 pm

  22. So I found a waffle maker on Woot that was free in-store pickup or $10 shipped from K Mart. I put my zip code in for the 29212 store, and the closest store was on Knox Abbott Drive where it was not available. So KMart does not even recognize they still have a store in the St. Andrews area. I called the store and really did not get anywhere. The brand is "Applica" and I was told they do have apple slicers, but unfortunately not the Applica Waffle Maker. At least I did not take the time to venture in the store.


    23 Jun 11 at 2:23 pm

  23. today, I noticed a Salvation Army Vehicle that was doing some work on the inside so it's possible that they may be planning something for this location, 2 years after it closed...and this is the closing that lead me to discover this blog...


    4 Oct 11 at 3:06 pm


    Just trying to get the word out. The Kmart on Fort Jackson is closing.


    24 Feb 12 at 3:39 pm

  25. In recent days, there was a construction dumpster out front but no more signs of anything else going down just yet


    29 Feb 12 at 8:35 pm

  26. Speaking of Kmarts closing around the area, I'm surprized the Kmart in Cayce on the Old Charleston Hiway isnt closed yet.. I thought they didnt do ANY kind of business worth the time anymore. The Ft. Jackson store seems to be busy everytime I ride by..and I know they dont have THAT many employees.


    1 Mar 12 at 1:49 am

  27. Oh..The Dime Store that was on Assembly Street in the mid 60's was Dodd's.. I finally remembered it. I dont think it was there all that long though, but I was young at the time and didnt pay anything that was there any attention.


    1 Mar 12 at 1:51 am

  28. My last experience with the FJB K-Mart was that it was *very* understaffed (albeit by pleasant folks).

    I think Dodd's also had a store on the lower side of the old Forest Lake Shopping Center.


    1 Mar 12 at 2:58 am

  29. Hush your mouth, Del!

    The Cayce Kmart still does pretty good business. I go in there a couple-three times a month and they have a pretty decent crowd in there. They do scrimp on the lighting and HVAC, though.


    1 Mar 12 at 7:31 am

  30. I grew up in Cayce.. not "Beautiful Downtown Cayce", but up the road closer to the Airport, though Cayce was a LOT different back in the early to mid 60's..or at least I thought so.


    1 Mar 12 at 11:54 am

  31. IF you wanna see a slow bad runned Kmart, go to the one on St. Andrews Rd. That store has never done all that good. They should close that one before the Ft. Jackson store.


    1 Mar 12 at 11:56 am

  32. Let me guess Tonkatoy..are you a "Cayce-zian"? And speaking of ANYONE old enough to remember an "outdoor" Rollerskating Rink" that was about where the old Fook Lion Store is across from Kmart? I think I sort of remember that, but it was the EARLY 60's


    1 Mar 12 at 12:01 pm

  33. meant to say FOOD-LION..NOT "FOOK-Lion". Oops!


    1 Mar 12 at 12:03 pm

  34. As Sears Holdings, Inc. announced their initial round of closings, a blurb about one of the articles in the search results I found wondered if it was "the beginning of the end for the once-iconic brand."

    Sears bought Kmart shortly after Kmart's bankruptcy emergence in 2005. They also bought Lands End in 2002 (the same year Kmart filed for bankruptcy) and I seem to think that Lands End might still be worth a little more, even if Sears & Kmart go down the dumper.

    I get the vibe that Kmart hasn't opened a new location in app. 2-3 decades.


    1 Mar 12 at 12:13 pm

  35. In my experience, Kmart #7410 (6169 St. Andrews Road, Seven Oaks Shopping Center) is the best kept up of any of the 5 area Kmart locations. The others feel clean enough but the tiles of the flooring have the appearance of an older age to me. Del could come out and indicate a thought of seeing Kmart as a company on the verge of extinction and it wouldn't surprise me at all.


    1 Mar 12 at 4:33 pm

  36. I was in the KMart on St. Andrews not long ago looking for something. I went to the outside lawn and garden section. It was totally dark. I actually thought that part was closed off. Can't remember what it was I was looking for, but I told myself that would be the last time I set foot in the store.


    1 Mar 12 at 4:52 pm

  37. I honestly see Sears and Kmart being extinct within the next 5-10 years if that long. Both Companies are stores of the past.. Walmart has ruined and run a lot of businesses into the ground and made them close or move. But...Walmart can't always be the "King of the hill" forever. They WILL fall too.


    1 Mar 12 at 6:14 pm

  38. Sears at Columbia Mall Place Thing Building is really empty compared to what it was. Look upstairs past the "electronics" next time your there and see just how empty it truely is. They should NEVER have moved from 5 points..or at least should have kept the original store and THEN Columbia Mall.


    1 Mar 12 at 6:17 pm

  39. Sears's demise would be another massive blow to Columbia Place Mall. If Sears folds, Macy's might as well go ahead and move out (into Richland Mall perhaps??)


    1 Mar 12 at 7:00 pm

  40. RIchland Mall's ONLY hope is to tear the whole thing down and start over again..and rebuild it as a copy of the original design..just add the newer aspects of todays technology and things. I say, bring back Meri's Records, Pet-O-Rama, Mr. Poppers and others that were there..think?


    1 Mar 12 at 7:04 pm

  41. Del, I think you should let the 60s was a great time, but the world has moved on. Meri's Records would not last 60 days because music is almost totally purchased on-line. Pet-O-Rama would be closed down by PETA and Mr. Poppers would receive constant fines from DHEC for noxious odors emanating from a business. You just know the smell of Karmel Korn would offend someone.


    2 Mar 12 at 5:26 am

  42. Sorry to have expressed my fondness of the 60's and a time that's gone. I wont express any more of my views or comments. Good luck with your site.


    2 Mar 12 at 2:21 pm

  43. Awe Del, don't feel bad. I do the same thing about everything from the 80s.

    Mr Bill

    2 Mar 12 at 2:47 pm

  44. Like I do with the 70s.


    2 Mar 12 at 3:23 pm

  45. I have phases like that with the 90s at times...and I'm only 23


    2 Mar 12 at 4:44 pm

  46. I have had visions of Richland Mall being torn down and having a Belk, Barnes & Noble and a more up-to-date Kroger. Then, maybe, a few other things may come in. Century Capital Group in conjunction with Kahn Development. They've taken the first step by changing the name from Midtown at Forest Acres back to Richland Mall.


    2 Mar 12 at 8:04 pm

  47. I have some very fond memories of the K-Mart on Jackson Blvd. My parents shopped there quite often in the late 60's and early 70's. It was the place to go before Walmart. I guess Walmart ruined a lot of futures for many businesses like K-Mart that couldn't adapt. I grew up in Forest Acres and going there was like Lowes, Walmart, and Target all wrapped up in one. Del, I,m in agreement with you about Richland Mall. I have always had the same feeling that they ruined Richland Mall when they changed the original structure. Build it back like it was and bring in some new stores. I feel that the property is a sleeping giant. I'm glad that they are taking the first step and changing the name back to Richland Mall. I too have great memories of the old stores!


    4 Mar 12 at 1:50 pm

  48. To the commentater Terry..I'll never let the 60's go. Say what you will about me being stuck in the past, but I'm sure there are others on this site that think the same as I do. I'm into The Beatles, The Monkees, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Banana Splits, The Archies AND The Beach Boys.. Have a great day!

    Saturday's child

    4 Mar 12 at 11:24 pm

  49. @Saturday's Child: I'm a 1988 baby but enjoy listening to music from those era in addition to many 80s, 90s and songs of today....


    5 Mar 12 at 12:21 am

  50. I hear ya! Great bands and great tunes. It was not my intent to piss off anyone with that post, but I seem to have a knack for that sort of thing. (I blame my brother) ;>) Come on back, Del. I believe you were on this board before I was anyway, so you have seniority.


    5 Mar 12 at 3:05 am

  51. I noticed signage from commercial real estate firm Colliers Keenan indicating that this property has sold


    27 Jul 12 at 5:36 pm

  52. I should also mention that the property containing the Western Inn & Suites next door to this has sold as well per signage along the road in front of said hotel's entrance.

    Bush River Road has already undergone a change for the better (IMO) with Hamrick's moving into the old Circuit City that has been vacant since 1999 and now something appears to be happening here (vacant since Nov. 2009) is following behind.


    30 Jul 12 at 8:29 pm

  53. The hotel property adjacent to this is up for rezoning at the zoning meeting coming up on Aug. 6 (not sure what for since I haven't found anything on the BoZa site).


    1 Aug 12 at 3:09 pm

  54. The white columns and the storefront that once housed the Kmart logo has been removed in preparation for the new owner. In addition, the side building next to where the auto bays once were has been demolished...


    24 Sep 12 at 12:41 pm

  55. The former K-Mart on Bush River Rd (and the hotel behind it) have been bought by New Spring Church.

    Sue Cash

    24 Sep 12 at 2:58 pm

  56. One of my mom's colleagues goes to NewSpring and it's my understanding that their current campus at 7820 Broad River Road (former Gateway Baptist Church location) will be relocating into the former Kmart...


    27 Sep 12 at 9:48 pm

  57. Just as NewSpring Church (whom has moved out of 7820 Broad River Road and another church called Fellowship Church is now at their old site and NewSpring is currently meeting at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center until their building here is complete) prepares to relocate into this former Kmart (the closing that lead me to discover this site), Across the street, at 600 Bush River Road, Shoney's has officially closed up.

    That particular Shoney's closing has been suspected before, stemming from the fact that it has quit serving dinner in recent years. Shoney's Wiki page indicates that they had, at their peak (≈1998), app. 1,300 restaurants. By 2007 it was down to 282 locations.

    Current CEO David Davoudpour, who bought it in 2007, has embarked on an aggressive revitalization process for Shoney's that you can read further about on their wiki page. It came too late for 1,100 now former Shoney's locations and now 600 Bush River Road now among the ranks of those that have faded off into the sunset (several others are listed in the Alphabetical Closings list (linked at the top)).

    Earlier this afternoon (1.2.2013) I noticed crews preparing to remove Shoney's road sign and on one side the marquee read "Visit us at Garners Ferry and Airport" which references the two remaining Shoney's locations.


    2 Jan 13 at 2:37 pm

  58. January 13, 2013 will be the first Sunday of NewSpring Church at their new campus at 657 Bush River Rd


    10 Jan 13 at 11:30 am

  59. I am just writing to let you understand of the wonderful encounter my wife's child experienced reading the blog. She realized a good number of issues, with the inclusion of what it is like to possess a great helping mindset to have other folks without hassle fully grasp specific hard to do matters. You truly did more than our expectations. I appreciate you for offering such useful, healthy, explanatory and even unique thoughts on the topic to Janet.


    10 Apr 13 at 2:16 am

  60. I worked at Kmart 3168 I went to work for them 1984-1993 I was let go because I was not productive enough I worked in housewares, customer greeter, cashier, garden center, relief cashier I was not productive enough? Give me a break we got a new manager in younger one I was too old like 37 I just wouldn't shake my ass for him or wiggle when I giggled

    Kaye Floyd

    23 Oct 20 at 4:59 pm

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