September 30, 2011

Spotlight: Kmart / Sears Outlet - Concord, NC


It's officially fall and that means new Kmart World updates! After taking the summer off, we're back with new posts to keep you occupied through the rest of 2011 and beyond.

Today's feature comes from Mike K. and is a former Super Kmart Center located in Concord, NC. It's now a regular Kmart location with a Sears Outlet store on the former grocery side. Below is Mike's observations from visiting this unique store.


"I've never seen a Super Kmart Center location in person before and was it huge! You can tell right away that it was a Super Kmart Center by the facade style and the sheer size of the building. Double entrances with one for the Kmart side and now one for the Sears Outlet side. All of the standard Kmart merchandise is in the middle and right side of the store. The far left, which was the fresh foods section, is now the Sears Outlet store. Kmart kept the regular food aisles and signs hanging above, where all the non-perishable pantry items are. A long shelf was put up to prevent you from going to the Sears Outlet side while shopping in these aisles. The selection of items was huge and a lot like a typical Walmart. This location included a still open Little Caesars Pizza Station. It was the largest one I've ever seen, especially with the massive glass windows out front that shouted 1990's. The front of the store had a Budget rental place, a nail salon, and the customer service desk. There was space for one or two other businesses, but they were closed off. It was probably a bank or something similar that was there before. The registers were in the front center of the store. You could access the Sears side from the Kmart side and vice-versa from the front of the store."

And there you have it, a former Super Kmart Center that found a second life and was converted into something useful. If Kmart continues to downsize Super Kmart Center's into regular Kmart's they should utilize this idea of a hybrid store for them. Instead of leaving the space where the grocery section was empty, use it for another one of Sears Holdings brands. Not only could they put in a Sears Outlet store, they could put in a limited section of regular Sears merchandise, a Lands End shop, a Craftsman shop, etc. There's plenty of things Sears Holdings can do with that space if they don't want to sell groceries in their remaining Super Kmart Centers. Unfortunately, this will probably be one of the only locations that gets a second use for its former grocery section.

What do you think, is this a good use of space or a waste of time? Leave your thoughts below and stay tuned for our next update soon!

Special thanks to Mike K. for taking all of the pictures and contributing commentary about his visit to the store.

A still open Little Caesars in this Kmart.
Little Caesars retro looking windows.
A shot of the Sears Outlet side.
Typical Kmart garden center.
Former Kmart Auto shop, now run by an independent company.
Looking towards the Sears Outlet entrance side.
Looking toward the Kmart entrance side.

17 comments:

  1. Wow, that's pretty cool. But I wish that they opened a section between the stores, or maybe developed (or bought!) a grocery chain to put in there.

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  2. Oh, you CAN enter the space between them. I'd love to see Kmart develop a full grocery line (like Target and Walmart have been doing), and maybe develop some Sears/Kmart combos, with the brands segregated.

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  3. Here's an idea IF they do merge into one store:

    If Kmart and Sears are the same company, then, why not sell the same items? Such as clothing, why sell totally different items, just sell the same things. You can have Kmart have everything a Kmart should and everything a Sears should. You can take the strength of Sears with the tools, appliances, hardware and some items like jewelry. You then take the strength of Kmart with its clothing, grocery items, household items, and etc... and make one mega store? This can be in a mall (See Target in a mall, they do very well) or this can be the normal big box store in town.

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  4. Mike that is exactly something I have thought they should do too. I think combining the best of both stores into one superstore would be they're best chance for survival and for increasing sales. It can become where inbetween a Super Kmart Center and a Sears Grand. Unfortunately as observed from a recent news article all Eddie Lampert cares about is turn the company into a real estate company right now.

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  5. Real estate isn't a bad idea, but there needs to be someone to focus on retail (as McDonald's did back in the 1960s). What I think they should do instead of merging the two (which hasn't really worked so far), separate them. However, I think SHLD should develop, buy, or partner with a supermarket so they can make a "store within a store" at Super Kmart stores (replacing the in-house Kmart grocery) and larger Sears stores.

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  6. Sears stores has started putting sub-leasing to whole foods to be inside there sears stores, not kmart

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  7. I would rather have more Super Kmarts

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  8. I just started a blog here http://deadanddyingretail.blogspot.com/ I am currently focusing on Kmart Supercenter. I have a list of locations up and info about a Kmart Supercenter in Lorain, Ohio.

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  9. Nick: Feel free to contact me about any retail from New England/North East or any Kmarts along the east coast.

    I dislike how the Sears side is almost "closed off". You cant buy goods on the Sears side and take them to the Kmart side. Arent they the same company after all?

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  10. Sad, Only 26 Super Kmarts remain. I hate that every year more and more Super Kmarts lose their grocery sections or close altogether. Super Kmart needs to be relaunched if Sears Holdings does not want to watch it dissolve completely. I notice at the Super Kmart close to my house that prices continue to rise and drive more people to the Walmart next door. The store has bad curb appeal, but is nice inside with friendly employees. The store is one of seven still open in Ohio. Actually Super Kmart stated in Medina, Ohio and spread throughout Ohio. The Medina store was converted earlier this year. Ohio is currently where Super Kmart has its strongest grip. I still receive Kmart Supercenter ads in the paper. Also there are Three Super Kmarts within thirty miles from my home. I would like to see these stores relaunched with a new look and better sales.

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  11. Mike Kaz and Paul: The idea of combining Sears and Kmart just ISN'T GONNA WORK. That's what Sears Essentials tried to do (as well as other Sears stores, like in Marietta) and are FAILURES.

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  12. Hey Mike Kaz, those are some great pictures! In Ohio we have Two Converted Super Kmart stores, but they were poorly converted with little updates. the only updates I have saw done to these two stores are driveway signage. The remodels are so cheap that Kmart just took the "Super" and "Center" parts of the sign down leaving the outdated Kmart logo behind. The Grocery equipment was all removed and aisles block of this empty area. I personally believe Sears Holdings will be unsuccessful in leasing out this space. I plan on doing posts next year on these two stores.(Medina, Ohio and Fremont, Ohio) There is a post on the Fremont store before the conversion on this site. Both stores are less than a mile from Walmart Supercenters and Their business has been reduced drastically. Does anyone know the Year this store was converted?

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  13. I found a post done on this store before it was converted. http://grocerying.blogspot.com/2009/11/last-super-kmart-centers-of-north.html

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  14. I'm confused by the layout of the store. Sears Outlet is obviously on the left side, and the Little Caesar's Pizza Station near the Sears Outlet. But inside, you can see Kmart merchandise.

    At least they kept the store mostly intact. It would be cool if the Sears Outlet was a bust, they could completely remodel the grocery side and reopen it.

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  15. The more photos and coverage the better, on Super Kmarts. Most people dont think they will last into 2013.

    The Concord location kept the Little Caesars there, as it has an outside entrance. Its weird to walk through the Sears Outlet area, but they mainly sell Appliances and other items like it. Ive never seen such a large area for Little Caesars in my life.

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  16. the raleigh location on western boulevard did the exact same conversion except our little ceasars closed years ago entirely.

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  17. This Concord, NC store closed completely in the Spring of 2017, It was my favorite Kmart, though there's one closer (it's still open, for now). Being a few towns over, I was unable to go very often. I was there at least twice Christmas shopping in 2016. And even did Valentine's shopping in 2017. I was there a couple months ago, unaware of their plan to close. The Sears Outlet was still open. Which confused me.
    It was a very sad day for me.

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