Pace Membership Warehouse


Pace Membership Warehouse was founded in Aurora, Colorado in 1983. The Kmart Corpoation acquired in 1989 for $322 million and became a subsidy of the Kmart Corp's membership warehouse division. At the time it had 41 locations. Kmart already purchased the US locations of Makro Inc. a warehouse club that had six outlets at the time of the Pace acquisition. In 1983 Walmart also opened its first Sam's Club stores and Costco was founded. A year later in 1984 BJ's Wholesale Club was opened. In 1990 the Makro locations were converted to Pace locations. In 1991 Pace purchased the 17-unit Price Savers Wholesale chain and converted them to Pace locations. That acquisition made Pace the #4 warehouse club. At the end of 1993 the Kmart Corporation agreed to sell off 91 of its 113 Pace stores, all Pace inventory, and its member lists to Walmart. The deal closed at the beginning of 1994 and Walmart soon converted all of the stores to Sam's Club locations. The remaining 22 locations that weren't sold to Walmart were closed, sold off, or converted for other uses. Some of the locations were under construction and work was stopped on them. By the end of 1994 Pace Membership Warehouse ceased to exist as a company and the Kmart Corporation shuttered their membership warehouse division. Pace Membership Warehouse had a brief and marginally successful run in its 10 year existence. At it's peak Pace had locations in 27 states.

Today the Pace Membership Warehouse name is now home to Kmart World. We are dedicated to preserving the legacy of this former Kmart chain; if you have any pictures of a Pace Membership Warehouse, please send them to us here.

This page can be accessed from pacemembershipwarehouse.com

Pace promotional photos.
Pace Promotional photos.
Former Pace Membership Warehouse in Jacksonville, FL

27 comments:

  1. These companies were the pioneers in large scale retailing. Definitely legacies worth preserving.

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  2. PMW is the best thing in world history.

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  3. Do you know if there were any Pace Membership Warehouses in Ohio? I am looking to track down some of these.

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    1. Indeed, there was. PACE bought the Makro location in Brooklyn, OH, where the Sam's Club now exists. Believe it or not, when PACE bought the former Makro location, they trimmed down the interior location by walling off part of it, which effectively turned off previous customers, who instead joined membership to The Warehouse Club. When PACE and The Warehouse Club sold to Sam Walton, everyone went to the current Sam's Club location, that exists to this day.

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  4. This Profile is a LIE! PACE Membership Warehouse started off as a "stand alone" company and was Bought out by K-Mart in 1989. It was the Worst thing that EVER happened. K-Mart RAN a profitable company into the ground Just like they did with Builder's Square, Walden Books and Payless Drug Stores. You can Thank that A///S//S-Clown CEO Bernard M. Fauber and his collection of "yes men" Jackoffs and their "employees are Dirt" philosophy! I worked at PACE in Brandon, Fl until it closed in 1993. For the Record...I hear that K-mart STILL treats their employees like SLAVES...Until THIS changes...K-Mart will be a NOTHING company....and it Deserves to be Nothing!

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    1. that is so true k-mart bought pace

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    2. You're a fuckin' liar to!

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    3. To the Anonymous who posted on August 1, 2013...YOU are the one who is Full of SHIT. My name is terry hart, post Yours you PUSS...I DARE you!

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    4. The June 13th post is spot on. I worked there 84-90 and Kmart ruined Pace like everything else they touch.

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  5. I have to apologize..in my previous post I blamed Bernard M Fauber for K-Mart's STUPIDITY. That was incorrect...the person Most responsible was CEO Joseph E. Antonini! He, along with his brown-nosing cronies who crafted the "SCREW THE EMPLOYEE" stratagem. ...And may they Burn In HELL for it!

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    1. are talkin' about Charles "Chuck" Conaway

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  6. Having grown up just a couple of miles from Price Club #1 in San Diego, I can (at least) give you a background on membership stores:

    Sol Price started with a store called "FedCo." Being that San Diego was essentially a Navy town, FedCo featured membership requirement of being in the military or a Federal employee. He then loosened it up by starting Fed Mart (though no membership was required). He concurrently ran those two businesses but ultimately was nudged out of Fed Mart's board and, on July 12, 1976 opened Price Club. Fed Mart subsequently went under and Target bought out many of their leases.

    Sol Price paid his employees well and Costco carries that tradition to certain extent. Having only been in one Pace location and only a few times in 1989-1990, I can't say how it stood up to the Price Club.

    Thanks for reading,

    sean in san diego

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    1. Wow, you bring to mind that I've been a member of this chains for a while now. First started in the 80's with Price Club, then my membership converted to Pace, then Sam's club. I've given this entities a lot of my monies and I hope that has helped people along the way!

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  7. I liked PACE warehouse, they had great deals and I liked their products better than the others. Wish they would come back too.

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  8. Pace was run by a group of boobs when it started up in 1983. I was an auditor on the account for Touche Ross & Co. out the Denver office. The management of Pace was subjected to a class action law suit that claimed they had overstated the financial condition of this very poorly run outfit. And - having been there to observe this cluster in action, they deserved to be sued and repaid the equity holders. Hammerin' Hank Haimsohn; Bruce Lindstrom; Wild -Wayno Patterson; Up-Chuck Steinbrueck; Bruce Vaughan; and Dick Smeltz were poorly equipped to run this ship and managed to drift onto the rocks. Had they been born 5000 years ago most would have been eaten in the nest!!

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    1. I worked in Tampa location from opening thru 1989. It was a freakin great career.

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  9. Pace Warehouse was not started by Kmart. It was one of the first club concepts when opened in 1983 by Charlie Steinbrueck in Aurora Colorado at I25 and Peoria, the warehouse was called the 01. He sold the company to Kmart in 1989 who in turned ran a very successful company into the ground.

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  10. As a member of the Detroit 9 management team who opened the Detroit market, I know this was a Denver based public co. that was not run by Kmart. We open up the Detroit market and ran like crazy for the 3 years I was there.

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  11. I grew up close to a PACE in Tampa. Awesome store. Had great white label products and you could buy boxes of Topps baseball cards for cheap!!! Once Walmart took it over we stopped going...they ruined it. I'm now a Costco memeber

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  12. I worked at Pace in the mid 80's until Kmart bought them. Drove a forklift and then managed hard lines. Loved the five gallon blue buckets of laundry detergent. Kmart did not develop Pace, they bought the company. Here's some proof. http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/pace-membership-warehouse-inc

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    1. I worked for PACE in Anchorage Ak. as rhe Marketing Mgr. then let go because Sams does not have a Marketing Mgr. I was let go with no job offer assholes

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  13. I worked at a pace warehouse for about a year and a half in Taylor, Michigan around 1988-89. And I can tell you that they treated us like absolute garbage. Corporate was pretty bad but they were not the only culprits. They fostered that environment amongst management as well. They used to lock me in a cage to count inventory on the super expensive merchandise (dom Perignon, electronics etc) during the hours when the warehouse was closed. They would lock it and actually walk away to another part of the warehouse and leave me there unattended. They locked it because they were afraid a 19-year-old girl who didn't party, smoke, drink or even swear would make off with their merchandise. I still remember asking them what would happen if there was a fire. And the manager said, 'we'll getcha'. Right, these people who treat their employees like crap are going to brave smoke and flames to rescue me. My mother had to call the fire marshal to make them stop. He actually went to the warehouse and told them if they did it again he would shut them down. That was really shocking. But they started unlocking the cage for me and then leaving me in there with it unlocked. I hated that place so much.

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  14. Picture of PACE member ship warehouse
    https://lostlaurel.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/pace-press-photo-1992.jpg

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  15. Pace was not started by KMart, but was destroyed by them. Pace was started by Henry Hiamson in Aurora CO in 1983. I was very proud to have worked for them and helped open the 2nd and third clubs in Tampa & St Petersburg, FL in 1984. It was a fantastic place to work and was on the cutting edge of the fledgling wholesale club industry. After 7 years, when Kmart came in and all of us founders stock options had matured, we were outta there.

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  16. I worked at Pace in Troy Michigan for about 10 months in 1986. It started out as a good place to work but benefits and management at the time sucked and the company was not very employee worker friendly.. I will say I do miss the prices and products they had and also the hotdog cart that posted up against the building.

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  17. Pace Membership Warehouse was my introduction into the world of "warehouse" shopping in the early 90's. My husband, young son and I would drive to Omaha, NE from our home in North Platte, NE once a month or so and stock up on necessities at Pace. I loved the large blue containers of laundry detergent. I was extremely sad when Pace was closed and Sam's Club took it's place in Omaha. I have great memories of shopping at Pace.

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