July 24, 2009

Spotlight: Sears - Marietta, GA

As you could probably tell from the picture above, this isn't your average Sears store. But rather a Kmart turned Sears. I went to this former Big Kmart in January 2008 on my way to the Kmart Super Center I posted about recently. I read an article online a few days before my trip stating this store had just been converted. The article stated that this was another of Sears Holdings experiments. They liquidated and closed the Kmart and started work on transforming it into a (unique) Sears store. Here's the narrative of my visit-

Upon my arrival I could see that they didn't spend much money on changing the exterior of the store, just some paint and signage changes.

One addition to the exterior though, was a Pharmacy pick up window. The Pharmacy was one of the elements they kept from Kmart, more on that below.
They kept the Kmart Garden Center. On my trip there was nothing in it, most likely because it was the middle of winter when I visited.
Updated shopping center sign with the Sears name.
After surveying the exterior I entered the store for the interior evaluation. First off, I want to apologize for not having any pictures of the interior. The store was very open and filled with employees, so I didn't feel comfortable at the time to snap any pictures.

Let me just say I've never seen a Kmart or Sears store with so many shopping carts. They had rows and rows of carts inside and outside the store. They were all new Sears branded black carts.

Walking in the store first thing I notice is the Kmart-style low ceilings and rows of fluorescent lights. But that's where any interior resemblance to Kmart ends. The store looked as it had been gutted to the bare walls and remade. Everything was new- fixtures, registers, floor, etc. The store had Internet kiosks all over for looking up and ordering Sears products. The checkouts were centralized at the front of the store. As stated above the store was very open and airy feeling even with the low ceilings. It was mostly because the aisles were low and the store had a large, open 'race track' around it.

This store was more of a concept Sears, than a traditional mall Sears store. It had several holdover departments from Kmart blended with traditional Sears departments. Here's what they had- Greeting cards, small foods section (mostly gourmet foods), large health and beauty department, full service Pharmacy, large indoor garden center, sporting goods & exercise equipment, small toys department, baby department (complete with baby food, diapers, wipes, etc), section of large appliances, domestics/home goods, electronics they had DVD's, but no CD's), large hardware section, small jewelry department, shoes, and of course clothes. One feature of this store is a large Lands End clothing section, which is the largest in any Sears store.

The sad thing was that the store was extremely dead, the associates outnumbered the customers 3 to 1. Overall I liked the look and concept of the store. It just seemed a bit too small to have a full selection of Sears, yet didn't have enough right items to make it Kmart.

As always post your comments on what you think.


  1. interesting, never been to a converted Sears/Kmart

  2. A lot of people say Sears should pull the plug on Kmart and convert it all to Sears, but that would definitely put hundreds if not thousands of people out of work, create a glut of Sears stores everywhere, and all stores will have to go through expensive remodels or just left as-is, which will lead to shoddy Sears stores that bring down the entire chain.

  3. They really should have invested in a new exterior facade. I look at that and I think "this used to be a Kmart."

  4. look really nice to me.....sears has really done a good job especially with the carpet cleaning and airduct cleaning dept

  5. Yeah, I agree with you people too, they really doing great job, Sears are the best, and hope they will start more customer reliable services too.

  6. So apparently, the inside looked like what a Kmart SHOULD be, but the outside is everything it SHOULDNT be.

  7. I think this may be on the closing list, unfortunately. Just by the sounds of it...

  8. Pseudo,
    This store is actually in the process of transforming back into a Kmart store. It supposed to be complete in March. I visited the store this week and took pictures of the remodeling and the liquidation sale. I will add them to the site soon, along with revisiting it when it's back to a Kmart and photograph it again.