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  1. #1

    Default And then there were 3 - [Kmarts]

    "Oh how the might have fallen." Kmart will be down to three stores in its birth state of Michigan after an announcement of more closings, mostly in small town Michigan where they played a role in wiping out local businesses.

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    Only two in Metro Detroit will remain, this bleak one on Ten Mile in Warren and one in Waterford. It evoked memories of shopping there in the seventies when it could almost be difficult to find parking and Kmart briefly supplanted Sears as the nation's largest retailer.

  2. #2

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    This has been a slowwwwwwww and painful death.

  3. #3

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    Sad. Many childhood memories walking those stores with my Mom and Sister. The "Eatery", the pizza and taco snacks at the slushy stand.

  4. #4

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    I lived near the 10 and Dequindre K-Mart. We would drive further to go to the Meijer at 12 and Mound.

    I used to work at the K-Mart at Maple (15) and Livernois. It was terrible. The manager was creepy and an asshole. I left K-Mart to work for Walmart and it was much better.

  5. #5

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    K-marts always smelled like toxic plastic and dirt.

  6. #6

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    Seems like at any K Mart store I ever visited, the first thing I noticed when walking in was how loud the fluorescent lights buzzed.

  7. #7

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    And to think that the 9 Mile and Harper store was usually the #1 store in the chain, in terms of annual sales.

    Also, FWIW the correct spelling is Kmart, no hyphen.

  8. #8

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    Kmart started losing focus no later than the 1980s with its purchase of outfits like Builder's Square and Waldenbooks, when it should have been concentrating on upgrading its stores and inventory system. Add to that the lie-filled tenure of Chuck Conaway and the current ongoing rape of the company by sociopath Eddie Lampert, and it's remarkable there are any stores left at all.

  9. #9

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    I was never keen on K-Mart or discount department stores in general.

    But I have some, probably misplaced nostalgia for their predecessor the five-and-dime, in the K-Mart context, S.S. Kresge stores.

    Its funny, in a strange sort of way, as K-Mart declines and even Walmart struggles a bit, that they are facing serious competition from 'dollar stores' which look an awful lot like the old five-and-dimes.

    The old five-and-dimes did have more features than today's dollar store, typically, a lunch counter, often a candy counter/bulk candy, and tended to carry kids clothing and toys more so than what you would see today.

    In truth, they were nothing special, but they did have a tad more character than their replacements, and weren't so obscenely huge.

    I gather Kresge stores fully disappeared in the US in the late 80s; their Canadian counterparts stayed until 1994.

    Kmart never really had that much traction in Canada and would vanish into the Canadian chain Zellers only a few years later, before that chain fell to Target, and Target made perhaps the biggest bungle in retail history with its misadventures into Canada.

    Plus-ca-change

    (roughly ....the more things change.......the more they stay the same)

  10. #10

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    Are there any old-timers here that know what brand the 10 Mile/Dequindre or Waterford Kmart stores were when they originally opened? The architecture of neither conforms to the standard Kmart design.

    During its turbo-growth years, I know they took over many former WT Grant stores, and, I believe EJ Korvette. Then there are the former discounters like Arlan's & Shopper's Fair.

  11. #11

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    I checked old Free Press ads and the Waterford/Drayton Plains store was a W.T. Grant store, one of their "Grant City" locations. It closed by Nov. 1975 and Kmart opened there no later than Sept. 1976. I wasn't able to figure out if any store previously was in the 2000 E. 10 Mile location, but Kmart opened there as a "Kmart Foods" in Feb. 1970. Perhaps that explains the difference in architecture? Did Kmart Foods stores sell mostly if not only food?

  12. #12

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    So long K-Mart. Thanks to for 100 years of service.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnsie View Post
    I wasn't able to figure out if any store previously was in the 2000 E. 10 Mile location, but Kmart opened there as a "Kmart Foods" in Feb. 1970. Perhaps that explains the difference in architecture? Did Kmart Foods stores sell mostly if not only food?
    Thanks for the info on Waterford. There was also a stand-alone WT Grant built at the SE corner of Hall Rd & 53 Freeway circa '68-'69 that was later converted to a Kmart. The entire structure was subsequently leveled as mega-retail enveloped that corridor. A new Super Kmart occupied another parcel on the N side of Hall Rd for a period of time.

    As for "Kmart Food", I am only familiar with the supermarkets being adjacent to a discount store (then later incorporated into one building with the "Super Kmart" concept).

    However, metro Detroit served as SSK's backyard petri dish. They experimented with stand-alone "Kmart Burgers", and "Kmart Gas", so a stand-alone "Kmart Foods" at 10/Dequindre circa '70 is possible. The building looks older than '70 to me, and most of the inner ring suburbs (on the main corridors, anyway) were pretty much built out already by then.

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    Last edited by Onthe405; September-05-19 at 03:27 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Onthe405 View Post
    Thanks for the info on Waterford. There was also a stand-alone WT Grant built at the SE corner of Hall Rd & 53 Freeway circa '68-'69 that was later converted to a Kmart. The entire structure was subsequently leveled as mega-retail enveloped that corridor. A new Super Kmart occupied another parcel on the N side of Hall Rd for a period of time.

    As for "Kmart Food", I am only familiar with the supermarkets being adjacent to a discount store (then later incorporated into one building with the "Super Kmart" concept).

    However, metro Detroit served as SSK's backyard petri dish. They experimented with stand-alone "Kmart Burgers", and "Kmart Gas", so a stand-alone "Kmart Foods" at 10/Dequindre circa '70 is possible. The building looks older than '70 to me, and most of the inner ring suburbs (on the main corridors, anyway) were pretty much built out already by then.
    10 and Dequindre briefly toyed with a food center, then became a Super K, I believe. Now Sears and K, whatever it is now, has no relation to either Sears or Kmart in my eyes.

  15. #15

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    When I think of walking into a Kmart, I have the scent memory of popcorn.

    Kmart was supplanted by Walmart. Now Amazon and dollar stores are stealing Walmart's lunch money. It will be interesting to see who challenges Amazon.

  16. #16

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    The first memories of department store forays was the Arlans under the Packard Plant over walkway. They must have closed because it was the Kmart on Sherwood we would visit often. Some where in there was the Sears on Gratiot and Van dyke.

    I used to say, if it weren't for Kmart growing up I woulda been naked.

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