February 6, 2017

Spotlight: Kmart - Neptune Beach, FL

500 Atlantic Blvd, Neptune Beach, FL 32266

Today we are taking a look at the Kmart store in Neptune Beach, FL. Unfortunately this store closed in the July 2016 round of closings. This store was 88,572 and opened on 11/17/1977. It underwent an expansion in the mid-90's and converted to a Big Kmart. The right side of the store was expanded out into an area that formerly housed smaller stores in the shopping center.

Arrows are pointing to the Big Kmart 90's expansion.
Before the Big Kmart conversion this store featured a restaurant in the back of the store, it was then converted to more selling space. Surprisingly after the restaurant closed, this Kmart never had a K Cafe up front. This store formerly featured an auto center with six auto bays. The garden center was remodeled for the Big Kmart conversion.

Old restaurant area in the back of the store.
Former auto center bays
This store formally had a one hour photo processing center at the front of the store to the left of the checkouts. That area was converted to a beer and wine section after Kmart phased out their photo labs. Overall this store is a pretty standard smaller format Kmart. Since the 90's Big Kmart remodel this store hasn't received anymore updates, including no new signage that a lot of other Florida stores received.

Former one hour photo lab area at the front of the store.
One interesting architectural feature about this store is the part of the store that was expanded into with the Big Kmart conversation has odd duct work with the ceiling. Look at the two pictures below and you can see it.

The odd ceiling duct work in the expanded part of the store.
More of the odd ceiling duct work.
Finally a cool bonus is we actually attended the grand re-opening of this store after it was expanded and remodeling into a Big Kmart. During the opening festivities they gave away Big Kmart hats to customers entering the store, we saved those hats and have a picture of them for everyone to see.

Big Kmart grand re-opening hats that were given away at this store in the 90's.
There you have it, hope you enjoyed the look into this now closed Kmart store. The rest of the pictures we took of this store are below. The pictures were taken in 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2016.

In 2007 the store was painted all grey.


In 2012 the store was now painted white and tan.




Vintage restroom sign

The old restaurant spot in the back of the store.









You can tell it used to stay Big Kmart, as part of the yellow swoosh is still on the right.

Door to the old auto center is open! Lets look inside!

Former auto center is used for storage now.



Former auto center.
2016 and the store is now closing.








The roll up gates are not for crime but for hurricanes as this store is only about a half a mile from the beach.


January 9, 2017

Spotlight: Kmart - Cornelia, GA

365 Habersham Village Circle Cornelia, GA 30531
Today we are touring the Kmart store located in Cornelia, GA, a small town in Northeast Georgia not far from the South Carolina line. Opening in 1985 this Kmart was located in a shopping center with a Revco drug store and a Winn-Dixie grocery store. Today the Revco is a Hibbett sports store and the Winn-Dixie is a Big Lots. This store is on the smaller side at 82,832 square feet. It used to feature a K Cafe and an Olan Mills portrait studio in store, and there is no former auto center space. Unfortunately this Kmart is one of very few locations left in the state of Georgia and the only location in the Northeast Georgia region.

Current shopping center layout and tenant list.

Former Olan Mills portrait studio.

Former K Cafe area.

This Kmart is a prime example of why the company is in a free fall to extinction. The pictures don't do the store justice on just how messy the store was, in addition the shelves in many places were very bare looking. It also features the normal Kmart store staples such as mismatch colored floor tiles, dirty ceiling tiles, and signage in wrong places. Another item of note is the garden center inside part and outside part was completely closed off and inaccessible to the public. Some garden center items had been moved into the store including bird feeders, plant pots, fertilizers, and pesticides.

Empty shelves in the automotive department.

Messy shelves, random items sitting everywhere.

Mismatched floor tiles all over store.
Inside and outside garden center completely closed off.
One cool find at this Kmart was a very vintage Kmart stock cart sitting right outside of the entrance doors to the store. It is definitely original to the store from when it opened in 1985 with the old pre-1990 Kmart logo.

Stock cart original to the store opening in 1985.
There you have it, that is about all that can be said for this 31 year old Kmart store. Judging by the up keep of the store and the lack of customer traffic, this store is likely to not make it past 2017. Enjoy the rest of the pictures and leave your comments on this store below.

Edit: A few days after we wrote this post, this store was announced to be one of 100 Kmart's to close by spring 2017. So our prediction of this store closing came true even sooner than we expected.