Well, this sounds very interesting. I will definitely be trying to check this out if the opportunity arises.
I wonder why the pharmacy is still open. The pharmacy must have been seen as profitable, I am guessing, enough so that they kept it. Did they also maintain a structured OTC Medicine/Health and Beauty department to compliment the pharmacy, or are they running a pharmacy amidst this flea market like store?
On its face this concept makes sense for marginal stores. Eliminate a lot of labor by downsizing the sales floor, not following the merchandise planograms, not having to hang ad tags up and down every week, etc. I do not understand why they would remove the checkstands though. I would also expect theft declines when you have mostly less desirable merchandise and a smaller sales floor. Theft is a big problem for these large, low staffed, low volume Kmart Stores.
Incidentally, I went to the Sparks, NV Big Kmart on Christmas Eve. This was my first visit to a Kmart Store in a couple of months. Some parts of the store looked good, some looked like a trainwreck. I noticed a few things: First, the restrooms were closed to public use and padlocked. Second, three of the 9 or so checkstands did not have credit/debit card pinpads for customer use and signage posted "cash or credit only." I paid at one of those registers and also the scanner at that register did not work requiring the cashier to hand type the UPC codes. Third, the indoor garden area had been emptied of the hoses, garden soil, pots, etc. that it used to house (I did not find where they moved these) and had "employees only" signage posted. Also, there was a sign at the customer service area stating Western Union was down. While the store is not closing as of yet, I cannot help but wonder, based on what I saw...