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Kmart, 748 West Main Street (Lexington): December 2019   no comments

Posted at 11:05 pm in closing

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This is certainly not a surprise at this point. In fact, I am more surprised that this store (and the West Columbia one) have stayed open as long as this.

The State says the plan is to close in December, but I don't see how you can get through October and November without already being down to the bare walls. That said, as of Saturday, the store was not too picked over yet, though reflecting that fact the discounts were still fairly low.

You can definitely see the effects of wear and tear on this store in the floor and in other other aspects of the physical plant. Plainly there hasn't been any money for cosmetic maintenence in a good while.

(Hat tip to lots of folks, perhaps commenter Tom was first)

Written by ted on October 7th, 2019

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Kmart, 10125 US Highway 17 Bypass South, Murrells Inlet SC (Inlet Square): 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).

UPDATE 7 October 2019: Add map icon, update tags & add full street address.

Written by ted on January 11th, 2017

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Kmart, 7325 Two Notch Road: January 2016   32 comments

Posted at 1:33 am in closing

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This is the only store I have ever been lost in.

It was probably about 1965 when my mother took me here to do some clothes shopping. Now of course the clothes displays are shorter than almost all adults, but taller than almost all four years olds, and at some point I lost track of her among the racks and panicked, racing around the floor trying to find her. Since I didn't spend the rest of my life in the clothes department, I must have located her at some point, but *that* part of the debacle I can't remember..

This store was a regular stop for us throughout the 60s and 70s. We preferred the store brand jarred roasted peanuts to Planters and in those days when Sears was still in Five Points and Dutch Square was the only mall this store was always the closest place to pick up whatever odds and ends we needed. I brought my first record album here, which I still have, the Beach Boys two record compilation set Endless Summer for which I paid $5.25. Here I also bought the Focal brand camera tripod which I still carry in my trunk today.

After I left town in 1985, I rarely visited this Kmart and I remember noting when I came back to town in the early 2000s how threadbare it looked. Since it was still close, I did visit it every now and then, but invariably noted that whatever I had gone in for, they didn't have it, and gradually stopped trying.

(Hat tip to commenter joelc)

UPDATE 30 January 2016 -- As noted by a number of people, the store is now closed:

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UPDATE 7 October 2019: Add map icon.

Written by ted on November 17th, 2015

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Kmart #7410, 6169 Saint Andrews Road: 19 May 2013   37 comments

Posted at 10:11 pm in closing

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Well, I finally got by the Saint Andrews Road Kmart, and it looks like whenever the final date is, it is definitely not long for the world.

I don't really understand why Kmart does store closings like this. Kmart a chain. It's not a chain that's in great shape, but there *are* other stores. It seems to me that it would make more sense to have a couple of trucks come in and take stuff either to the warehouse or directly to other stores, especially the small stuff like the jewelry department. Just looking at it cold-bloodedly, that would have to be cheaper than continuing to pay salaries and utilities for an extended closing period..

(Hat tip to lots of people)

UPDATE 20 May 2013 -- Well, Sunday 19 May was the last day of retail operation -- they will be open next week to sell the store fixtures only. I got some $0.19 Jazz CDs and a George Thoroughgood concert DVD for $0.29..

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

Written by ted on April 17th, 2013

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Kmart #4043, 4400 Fort Jackson Boulevard: 3 June 2012   76 comments

Posted at 12:11 am in closing

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This Kmart, accessible from Fort Jackson Boulevard, Devine Street, Crowson Road and Wildcat Road has been there for my entire, remembered, life (it is technically a little younger than I am), and was a place I went many times with my Mother over the years (though probably not as many times as to the Two Notch store). In the beginning, the left side of the Kmart building was occupied by a Big Star grocery and then by an Old America Store. Finally, in the throes of the last good idea the chain had, Kmart converted to a Big-K format store and expanded into the old grocery space. This status-quo lasted a good number of years, but recently there have been signs of malaise like closing and trying to rent out the auto service bays.

I want to like Kmart as I have good childhood memories of the place, but their current strategy seems to be to not have a strategy, other than, perhaps, closing stores when Wal Mart opens nearby. Now, I'm not saying I know what a successful stragegy for them would be, but good heavens, they have to try *something*! Go 24 hours, get Martha Stewart back, co-brand with The Food Channel, open in-store bowling alleys -- something!

And hire some staff, yes, that's expensive, but if you're in a "bet the company" situation (and you are, whether you think of it that way or not) you've got to make shopping easy. The last time I stopped at this store, I was in a bit of a hurry and found my item quickly, but it was in a locked display case with nobody in the department. The staff I could find in other departments were very friendly, but couldn't leave their area and nobody ever showed up who could make the sale before I had to go -- so they didn't make that sale, and I'm not sure they can afford to not make sales.

Anyway, as of Memorial Day, the place was not completely picked clean and still had some reasonable looking bargins. I noticed in particular, that if you need some alkaline batteries, now is the time to get your "Die Hard" AAA, AA 9V & Cs (didn't see any Ds).

UPDATE 6 June 2012 -- And, it's gone!

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UPDATE 11 June 2012 -- Pix from 7 June. The Devine Street roadside sign is gone, and the marquee sign is about to go:

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UPDATE 14 June 2012: Added full 7 June 2012 photoset.

UPDATE 20 June 2012 -- As these pictures from 8 June show, all the signage is now gone (also added full 8 June photoset below):

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Photosets:

Photoset 7 June 2012

Photoset 8 June 2012

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

Kmart, 1525 Sadler Road (Fernandina Beach): March 2012 (probably)   7 comments

Posted at 11:48 pm in closing

You'll recall that we discussed the announcement a few months back about how Sears & Kmart have announced a round of store closings which largely left South Carolina stores (except for Sumter) untouched.

Well, I was recently in Fernandina Beach, and found that their Kmart is one of the ones which got the ax. The store is on Sadler Road, which is the first major connector between 8th Street (the bridge road onto the island) and the beach, an area which is in general doing *quite* well, with lots of new upscale shops (both there and on the other side of the bridge).

When I was growing up, Fernandina was still quite a small town, and this would have been a major blow. Now there is a Wal-Mart a few blocks away, and Target within a mile.

The store is still open for now, and while the inventory is starting to hollow out and the vacant space to spread (as in the Dutch Square Kmart) there is still while until the final days when the fixtures start to go..

UPDATE 10 October 2012 -- As these pictures from 5 August 2012 show, the place is closed and all the logos and branding is gone:

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

Written by ted on February 23rd, 2012

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

Posted at 2:14 am in closing

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.

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

Written by ted on April 30th, 2010

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Kmart Store 3168, 99 N Arrowwood Road: 5:30pm 8 November 2009   59 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 bluelight.com 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:

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UPDATE 1 October 2012 -- Construction is going on:

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

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