October 10, 2016

Spotlight: Kmart - Macon, GA

This Kmart's Macon me crazy!
Kmart #3661 156 Tom Hill Sr Blvd Macon, GA 31210

Located in Macon, Georgia, at 101,279 square feet this Kmart opened on 5/12/1988 and went through a $1.4 million dollar expansion 10 years later in 1998. In 2010 according to building permits the store underwent $156,000 in work, although I haven't been able to figure out what was done exactly. This Kmart is in a prime location as it shares a shopping center with Kroger and is located off of a busy retail corridor with close access to the interstate. This store has a former K cafe, former Olan Mills portrait studio, and it never had a auto service center. It also has belt driven register stations, it still has an electronics counter with a register, it still has a garden shop register with a cashier working it, and it has (oddly) two large appliance departments. Pictures of all that below.

The shopping center tenants along with Kmart.

Map view of the store expansion in 1998.
As stated above in 1998 this store went through a nearly one and a half million dollar expansion project. Most likely the expansion was to bring the store from a regular Kmart to a Big Kmart. The late 90's was when Kmart was rolling out the Big Kmart store concept to the majority of its store base. Kmart expanded many of its smaller stores into the Big Kmart concept that had the newly added "pantry" department. This Kmart's expansion consisted of enclosing in the entire garden shop space and building a new garden shop space onto the front of the store. If you look at the Google map view above you can see the space on the right side of the store where the arrow is pointing is the former garden shop spot, it was completely enclosed to add more store space. If you look at the front of the store where the other arrow is pointing that was the new garden shop that was constructed onto the front of the building. It's unique to see a garden shop on the front of the store like that, very few Kmart's are configured that way.

Google streetview of the Garden Shop from the 1998 expansion.

Google streetview of the Garden Shop from the 1998 expansion.

This location has a former K Cafe just inside the entrance on the left that is currently more shopping space. It's a very oddly configured cafe space, as I'm wondering if it had some type of special cafe layout when it was still open.

Left part of cafe space is walled off, but judging by the tile it was always like that.

Oddly configured cafe space.

Looking in the cafe space.

Standing in the cafe space looking out. The cut in the wall was probably where the fountain drinks were.

 This store has a few somewhat unique features that aren't found at most Kmart's. One is it has two large appliance areas. One is in front of the layaway department with most of the appliances still boxed up and it has a appliances department sign hanging from the ceiling. I'm guessing that was the original spot for the appliances. The other spot is next to the electronics and has most of the appliances out of the boxes on display. Mattresses are also on display for sale next to the appliances. My guess is this appliance and mattress area was added recently with the downsize of the electronics department, which is happening at all Kmart's. Surprisingly the electronics department at this store still has a register counter with a still used register. Most all Kmart's have removed those in the downsize of their electronic departments company wide in recent years. Another unique thing is this Kmart has belt driven cash register stations. More than likely these were added during the Big Kmart remodel in 1998. It's odd though that a non-Super Kmart or a non-potential future Super Kmart expansion store would have those type of register stations. Also this Kmart still has 9 registers stations! One more thing I noticed was that the customer service desk still has it's big screen TV that was added in Big Kmart remodels and removed from most stores years ago.

Appliance department #1 in front of layaway.

Appliance department #2 in electronics.

Mattresses next to appliances.

A Kmart that still has an electronics counter!

Belt driven register stations at a regular Big Kmart!

Service desk still has the old school big screen TV.

And there you have it, the Macon, GA Kmart. It's a typical Kmart with a few unique features about it. As always leave your thoughts on the store in the comments below. Also if you know any other history of this store please comment below too. Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

These door were most likely added with the 1998 Big Kmart remodel.

Mismatched floor tiles everywhere just like most Kmart's.

Former Olan Mills portrait studio spot.

Kmart removed a pantry aisle and added promotional bins in it's place.

Going into the Garden shop.

Large Garden shop.

Not only does the Garden shop still have a register but it still has a cashier working it!

9 belt driven registers!


September 12, 2016

Spotlight: Kmart / Sears Outlet - Henderson, NV

Store #9819 - 10405 S. Eastern Ave. Henderson, NV 89052
Today we are spotlighting one of the last few Kmart's ever to be built from the ground up. Opening on August 18, 2001 in Henderson, NV at 143,000 square feet this store was formally a Super Kmart Center and is currently now a regular Kmart with a Sears Outlet store inside. This store was opened only about 5 months before the Kmart Corporation filled for bankruptcy and stopped opening new stores altogether, which continues to this day.

Picture of the store when it was still a Super Kmart Center.
In 2010 the Henderson store had its fresh grocery section removed and was officially changed from a Super Kmart to a regular Kmart. The entire right side of the store was completely walled off where the meat, seafood, dairy, deli, and bakery cases and prep/work areas were. It makes you wonder if they left those areas intact and untouched behind the drywall? That side of the store still carries a few dry groceries and dairy items, along with an aisle of beer, liquor, and wine. It does have a larger section of refrigerated cases compared to most regular Kmart's and they are not the cheap, ugly looking ones the majority of Kmart's have. The back half of the former grocery section was turned into a Sears Outlet store within a store.

Overall this store is very nice and well taken care of for a Kmart. For one thing the store is only 15 years old unlike the majority of Kmart locations that are 30-50 years old. This store is also very well maintained, it is clean and merchandised nicely. The interior walls have been repainted in recent years and the clothing department has the newer merchandising fixtures, both things that also help the look of the store.


This store does not have a cafe or restaurant as it was removed and walled off when the fresh groceries were taken out 6+ years ago. There is a slot machines gambling area up front, most likely a Nevada exclusive. There is what looks to be a former bank or maybe video rental spot up front, that even has it's own outside entrance door. Next to the customer service desk is the former Olan Mills portrait studio spot. Strangely the pharmacy is located on the back wall of the store, closest to the former fresh grocery area. Most all Kmart's have their pharmacies somewhere along the front wall of the store, so this is a bit unique. Also to note this store never had a auto service center in it.

Unfortunately now for the bad news. This store is now owned by Seritage Growth Properties, which was spun off from Sears Holdings in 2015 by Eddie Lampert to generate more operating money for the company. Basically he took a couple hundred of the best locations of Kmart and Sears stores and sold them off to this newly created company. The leases are now controlled by Seritage, with the majority of the stores having the option to get subleased to other companies. Which in turn means that 50% and up to 100% of the stores square footage can be taken from the Kmart or Sears store and leased to a different store if it generates more money. Meaning the Kmart or Sears store will have to be either downsized in square footage or pushed out of the space completely.

Map shows the space to be leased out to another store.
Sadly as of August 2016, half of this Kmart store is being marketed to other companies to lease out. Which means that this Kmart could get significantly downsized in the near future. The diagram below shows that Kmart would be downsized to just under 65,000 square feet and keep the left entrance of the store, then just under 58,000 square feet is being offered to lease out and would use the right entrance to the store. Sears Outlet would stay and expand to take up 21,000 square feet of space, which would be the entire former fresh grocery area that is currently completely walled off. It would presumably get a new entrance on the outside of the store, which could end up being the small door on the far end of the store that looks to be the former cafe/restaurant entrance. The store will stay in its current form until a company decides to lease the available space.

This diagram shows the space that's being offered to lease out.

That's about all to report on this store, only time will tell what will end up happening to this newer and fairly nice Kmart location. Enjoy the entire gallery of pictures from this store below and be sure to comment on what you think!

The mystery entrance on the far right of the store, my guess is for the former cafe/restaurant.

A least the road sign has the new logo.

It used to say Apparel and 1 HR Photo above the entrance door when it was a Super Kmart.

Taken from Google street-view since I didn't get a shot of this spot when I was there.

It used to say something along the lines of 'groceries' above the entrance back when it was Super Kmart

Entering through the former grocery side.

Lots of checkout registers still.

Looking to where the Super Kmart grocery area used to be.

What's left of this Kmart's grocery section.

Alcohol aisle..it is close to Vegas after all!

Sears Outlet in the back right of the store where the grocery area used to be.

Entrance into the Sears Outlet area, they had their own registers you paid at.

Pharmacy on the back wall of the store..odd.

Back wall of the store looking towards Sears Outlet behind the shelves.

Electronics was downsized and the counter removed. Appliances and mattresses added.

Part of the electronics department now sells mattresses.

Nice fixtures in the men's clothing department and the fitting  rooms.

Looking towards the garden center area.

Inside garden center area, door to go outside was closed off.

Outside garden area is huge but hardly being used.

You could still go outside in the garden area but not much there.

Other store entrance on the general merchandise side.

I'm assuming there used to be some more checkout registers in this spot.

Mannequins in Kmart.

Former bank area

Slot machines area, was possibly part of the former bank area or could have be a video rental.

Former Olan Mills portrait studio spot.

Register area up front.

Customer service desk area along the front wall of the store with a ICEE machine!