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.