March 27, 2017

Spotlight: Kmart - Anderson, SC

3801 Clemson Blvd, Anderson, SC 29625

Today we are looking at the now former Kmart in Anderson, SC. The store's last day of business was March 26, 2017, having been at its current location since the end of 1995. At 118,749 square feet, this store was built with a super center expansion in mind. At the time Kmart was building some of their stores larger and with a certain building style to be easily convertible to the Super Kmart Center concept. This store was one that was built this way. It also has a large empty pad at the front of the parking lot for a K-Express gas station to be built if the store was converted into a Super Center.  As you can see though, this store was never converted. It may have been in the plans but was cancelled because of Kmart's bankruptcy troubles a few years after the store opened.

Front of store with Garden Center entrance at far end of picture.

Kmart originally came to Anderson on October 23, 1969 with a 104,000 square foot building just up the road from this location. With its 700 space parking lot, it drew customers from all over the area and was the place to shop in Anderson. It closed in 1995 when its 25 year lease was up and this brand new, larger store opened up at 3801 Clemson Blvd at the end of that year. The Anderson Independent Mail has a nice store on the store's history here.

Looking towards checkouts in December 2016.

This store was one of the stores that Sears Holdings sold off and transferred over to their real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties. Most Kmart and Sears stores that were now controlled by Seriage had plans for redevelopment of some type. This store was no exception, as it was announced on November, 19, 2016 for plans to cut this store in half. 59,370 of the stores 118,749 square feet would be leased out to other stores including Burlington Coat Factory. The remaining square footage would continue to operate as a reconfigured, smaller Kmart store. On December 12, 2016 the Anderson city council approved the redevelopment request. On a visit to this store a couple weeks later, we found signs posted that said "Improvement is on the way, pardon our construction as we create a better shopping experience for you" and "Pardon our dust! We are in the process of transitioning our sales floor to a new look." Several of the stores aisles had been turned horizontal facing instead of vertical facing and there were empty spaces at the back of the store.

Taken in December 2016 when the store was to be downsized.

On January 4, 2017, less than a month after the city council approved Sears Holdings request to downsize and reconfigure this Kmart store, it was announced the store would close altogether in March. The pardon our dust and construction signs came down and the store closing signs went up. March 26, 2017 saw the last day this store was in business and so ended the 48 year run Kmart had in the city of Anderson, SC. The Anderson Independent Mail has a nice article about the store leaving the city here. Burlington is still coming to part of the former Kmart building but the rest of the store will stay vacant for the time being.

March 2017, five days before the store closes for good.

This store as mentioned is a larger non-Super Kmart store, it has a very spacious and open layout with higher ceilings than most older Kmart's. The Garden Center inside portion opens directly into the main store with no walls separating it. The Garden Center entrance would have became a secondary store entrance if this store was converted to a Super Kmart Center.

Inside Garden Center area.

At the front of the store when you walk in to the right is an area which most likely was a one hour photo lab or something similar. Next to that space is the Customer Service desk and next to it is the former K Cafe space, which has been closed for a few years. To left of the entrance along the front wall is a space which more than likely was the music, movies, and books shop that Kmart's used to feature at the front of some of their stores. Inside that space in the corner is a room where the former Olan Mills Portrait Studio was located. Also to the left of the entrance is a big open promotional space and then the checkout registers.

Former K Cafe and Customer Service in December 2016.

Along the front wall of the store next to the checkouts is the Electronics department, then the Greeting Cards/Party area, and then Health and Beauty aids along with the Pharmacy. Surprisingly this Kmart does not have a Auto Center in it. We believe during the time this store was built Kmart had suspended adding Auto Centers to their stores.

Electronics department in early 2015 before the counters were removed.

That's about all we can say about this Kmart store. Overall this was a fairly nice and spacious Kmart that was newer than a lot of their aging stores. The pictures featured here were taken on 3 different dates including April 2015, December 2016, and March 2017. Let us know what you think in the comments!