March 16, 2012

Spotlight Part 1 of 2: Sears to Kmart - Marietta, GA

Marietta, GA Sears
 It's not everyday that you see a store go from one name to another name and then back to the original name all in the span of less than five years. But today you will see it in this special edition of our Spotlight feature post. In part one we will be exploring the process of transforming a Sears into a Kmart, but first a little back story.

Bing Maps view of when it was originally a Kmart.
This store located at 4269 Roswell Rd in Marietta, GA and is 106,702 sq ft according to Sears Holdings reality website. It opened up in 1980 as a Kmart, and was re-branded in the 90's as a Big Kmart. In 2007, the Kmart liquidated and opened up as a Sears store in November 2007. In November 2011, the Sears was in the process of liquidating and it opened back up as a Kmart in March 2012. Sound confusing right? I can only imagine what the local customers are thinking. 

Inventory Clearance signs line the outside of the store.
Before being converted into a Sears, it was just a typical 80's/90's Big Kmart with no real standout features. In a long article about Sears Holdings from, the author talks about the Sears conversion being another of Eddie Lampert tests. At the time it featured the "largest Lands' End store-within-a-store in the country," taking up almost a third of the store's floorspace. We featured this store on our site in July 2009. We documented what the store was like after it was remodeled into Sears. One thing to know is this wasn't a Sears Essentials or a Sears Grand store. It received a lot more extensive remodel and sold Sears only products, nothing was held over from the Kmart store days. This store was also converted after most all of the Essentials/Grand conversions happened.

Kmart coming soon! Again!
Unfortunately the test of converting this Kmart store into a unique Sears store failed. The store lost most of the business it had from when it was a Kmart. Only 4 years after the conversion, Sears Holdings announced that it would be one of several Sears/Sears Essentials/Sears Grand stores around the country being converted back into Kmart stores in 2012. During the process of being converted, all Sears merchandise had to go. When I visited the store at the beginning of January 2012, most everything was 25-50% off. The Health and Beauty products and a few others items were the only things not discounted, as it was being retained for when Kmart reopened. Work had already begun on the conversion with over half of the store being closed off with blue curtains. Contractors and Kmart employees were both actively working on getting the store prepped and ready for the March grand re-opening. Part 2 of this Spotlight will focus on the new 2012 Kmart after the conversion. 

Sears? Kmart? Both?
Walk up Pharmacy window, added when the Sears opened.
Everything must go! Got to make room for Kmart!
Half of the store was curtained off already.
Behind the curtained off area.
Looking towards the front checkouts.
Greeting cards and looking towards the Pharmacy area.
Everything is marked down to go!
Empty shelves.
Exercise equipment priced to move.
Lawn and Garden department.
Inside the garden shop, now full of new Kmart fixtures.
Hardware department
Outside garden shop area, full of more fixtures.
Behind another curtained off area.
Another shot of the curtained of area.
Appliances priced to sell.
What was left was condensed to a small area.
Whole back wall of store was curtained off.
Where one of Sears internet kiosks once sat.
Looking towards the back wall.
Sears shoe department.. what's left of it.
More of the shoe department.
Contractors were working on the deconstruction while the store was open.


  1. I always wondered what this one looked like inside. Heard it had gourmet foods, or something like that.

  2. Why was this location chosen for this conversion and was it promoted locally very well.I hope they do a decent remodel for rebranding it back to Kmart nice size store.Hows MyGopher doing that sounds like there throwing money away with that concept.They wasted another good Kmart location on that.

  3. I don't know, myGofer has wasted away for too long and not enough potential to do anything useful with it. I'm almost certain in that in the event Sears and Kmart both survive (best case scenario), a "divorce" of the two brands is inevitable (at least it would've lasted longer than many celebrity marriages).

  4. nice! A lot of the Sears Essentials (all originally Kmarts) have been converted back, I wonder if there's any more left... but this was an interesting case since it wasn't Essentials!

  5. One of the things covered in this post the first time around was the Sears having a gourmet foods section. What was that all about? What did they stock?

  6. I work at this kmart now! I've always wanted to see what it looked like pre-new-kmart!