June 29, 2009

Spotlight: Big Kmart - Panama City Beach, FL


While on vacation in Panama City Beach, FL I stumbled upon a Big Kmart, tucked away in a small shopping center behind a large road overpass. Upon pulling the building style immediately screamed former Wal-Mart to me. I googled online but couldn't find any info on if this was indeed a former Wal-Mart. The layout and building are not of any Kmart I've seen that they have built, so I know for a fact it was something else before Kmart. The entrance is on the far right end of the store. When entering the Service Desk is immediately on the right, followed by a large K Cafe. The registers are on the left. They store was very large and open. I went during a weekday afternoon and the store was quite a ghost town. The associates working the K Cafe and Service Desk were watching a tv setup in the K Cafe dining area.

This was a very large store, this shot was taken at the one end of the store looking towards the other end. Oddly this store did not have a large appliances department, common with most bigger size Kmart stores.


The electronics department was in a very odd place for a Kmart. If walking in the store it was at the front end of the store in the right corner. I was also a larger than normal electronics department.


typical Kmart Pharmacy, complete with half-lit sign.


Still in business K Cafe, when you walked in the store it was immediately to your right past the service desk. It used to feature Little Casers, these signs were covered by banners, as seen in the second picture.



I apologize for the blurry quality of the pictures, I was trying to take them quickly with my cell phone.

If anyone knows the history of the Kmart or has anything more to add about it, please leave a comment.

15 comments:

  1. It looks a whole lot like a Wal-Mart, but I think it was a late '80s Kmart prototype that emulated Wal-Mart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grew up in PCB 35 years. This was never a Wal Mart. Why does it matter anyways. They are shutting their doors for good and laying off all their people soon. Find something else to talk about. This is stupid

      Delete
  2. Sweet! I'm going to Panama City Beach in the coming weeks. Do you know where it is (Google Maps?)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's the address to google-
    7100 W Highway 98
    Panama City Beach, FL 32407

    ReplyDelete
  4. Some K Marts had that style front on them. Most had the slanted front with a red K and turquoise "mart" after it, and all those were retrofitted for the much smaller "K" type logo in the middle of the old wide slanted part. I've seen several different style K-Marts with the old Kmart logo to the side of the doors instead of above them, with material above the entrances similar to the one pictured.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I made a blogpost about this Kmart too...
    http://twowayroads.blogspot.com/2009/07/kmart.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. kmart lol buy evreything at kmart

    ReplyDelete
  7. It was built as a Kmart. I was there today (10-4-10), and, unfortunately, the venerable Kmart Cafe has been shuttered. The Snowbirds will be heartbroken. As usual, the store was a well-stocked museum-piece with almost zero customers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This really looks like an older style walmart. Its weird kmart didnt put the logo on the overhanging facade. The kcafe layout also looks like a former walmart product, where you had a mcdonalds and then right after the mcdonalds, was clothing. Again, it could of been a concept, but it really looks like a former walmart.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No it was never a Walmart and was skews a Kmart. I can remember when there was a house there before they tire it down to build Kmart. I'm surprised that store is still open.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This store in Oak Park, MI was built by K-mart in the late 1980's. It was a prototype and the first Red K with script latter inside.

    Jeff from the Home of Kmart, Detroit

    ReplyDelete
  11. Whoops here is a link! See the simularities?

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Oak+Park,+MI+K-mart&hl=en&ll=42.484299,-83.202209&spn=0.000032,0.02105&safe=off&fb=1&gl=us&hq=K-mart&hnear=0x8824c8d860f3fb5d:0x70fd341efca4010,Oak+Park,+MI&cid=0,0,15224593691922680666&t=h&z=16&vpsrc=0&layer=c&cbll=42.484431,-83.202212&panoid=BJUTIxfmcFglYv_9bUX18A&cbp=12,90,,0,0

    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  12. The Kmart store in Crossville, Tennessee has the same basic design, just to throw out another example. I have also seen this style on many Kmarts in my travels as part of my job. I have many photos of Kmarts at my Facebook page, I grew up in a suburb of Detroit, only a few minutes from the first ever Kmart in Garden City, Michigan (which is still open, since 1962, for those that did not know that, in the same building), and I grew up shopping at Kmart--there was no Walmart in our area, and Meijer stores were too far spread out for quick trips, so Kmart (mainly the Westland and Garden City stores) was it.

    Great site by the way.

    Chris Hurley, Wayne, Michigan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also the store in Greenville, Michigan and a closed Kmart in Acworth, Georgia also have this design.

      Chris Hurley

      Delete
  13. I am from Panama City, and it was actually but by Kmart in the late 80's. and if you noted across the street, Diagonally from the Kmart that shopping center use to be a Walmart... and of course the overpass did not exist. they will soon be building the same type of overpass on the east side of bridge soon.

    ReplyDelete