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K dollar

K dollar

Postby dcpeachy » December 22nd, 2012, 1:39 pm

Today I was driving in Albuquerque and saw a billboard for Kdollar (red capital K, lowercase aqua/blue dollar. So, I had to stop. It's a Kmart that was a BigKmart for a while, then they removed Big, and now it just has the K with mart in script inside it. Next to the sign is a banner that says Kdollar and mentions bargains and discounts (sorry, didn't get the exact wording) and has the pharmacy logo underneath. The location is at Montgomery and Eubank.

Inside, the only checkout is the customer service desk. The other checkouts have been replaced by bargain bins. The pharmacy still operates. Most merchandise is clearance stickered, with signs throughout advertising additional discounts (i.e. 25% off toys). The signs are all printed on plain paper, black and white, and have the Kdollar logo on them.

The back part of the store (last row of aisles) is totally blocked off. Over half the store is clothing, but most of it was racks of leftover summer merchandise--rack after rack of tank tops, mini-shorts, swimsuits, etc. The only part of the store that looked to have normal merchandise was the shoe department, which had signs up saying "Price as marked."

The whole store was like a store closing sale, but not totally. It actually reminded me of early 80s Kmart.

Is this a sign of things to come?
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Re: K dollar

Postby Alpha8472 » December 22nd, 2012, 7:41 pm

Those dollar stores are doing really well these days. All of those bargain hunters are out in force and Kmart is simply taking advantage of it.

Not everything at the dollar store is a value. For some items, the packages are small and cost more per ounce than items at full price supermarkets. Dollar stores are not stupid. They are out to make a profit and lure people in with dollar prices. People buy like crazy and totally abandon reason and assume all the stuff that they buy is actually saving them money. Canned goods at dollar stores are not a value. The cans are smaller and you can find bigger cans at 60 cents at othe stores. Boxes of baking mixes are smaller at dollar stores and are a rip off.
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Re: K dollar

Postby dcpeachy » December 23rd, 2012, 12:28 pm

Ultimately, this concept might become a dollar store. However, the current merchandise is what KMart has always had. But, it's displayed like 1980s KMart, has clearance stickers all over it, is piled on shelves and racks without much organization other than shelves that obviously were just moved from elsewhere in the store, and seems like a last ditch effort at something. I'm not sure what, though.

The more I think about it, the more it reminds me of Bud's Discount City, back when Wal-Mart ran outlets. The only thing missing is the Bargain Corral at the back of the store, where people fought over random merchandise that was brought out from the back room from time to time.

If KMart made an effort, they might able to run a dollar store, but this doesn't look like they're doing much.
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Re: K dollar

Postby KingU8ol0Soopers » December 23rd, 2012, 2:21 pm

I did a little research on KDollar and couldn't find anything about it on Kmart's website. After a little more poking around, I found a trademark record for the K Dollar logo. It was registered on November 6, 2012, so this appears to be a really new concept for them.

Also, the store that dcpeachy mentioned is still labeled as a Kmart on Google maps, instead of a KDollar: http://goo.gl/maps/f5n6q
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Re: K dollar

Postby storewanderer » December 26th, 2012, 8:32 pm

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...
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Re: K dollar

Postby dcpeachy » December 30th, 2012, 12:33 pm

I stopped again today to see what, if anything, I could find out about the store. The checkout area is now labeled "Dollar Market" and has some groceries and household necessities. Some of the merchandise is on shelves. The rest is in stacked plastic crates (the kind that sell for around $3).

As far as individual departments are concerned, here is what I noticed:

Electronics: Reduced to a few clearance items, and 3 boxes of Wii games on a rolling shelving unit.

Sporting Goods: One aisle near the back with a row of bikes next to women's clothing.

Housewares: This department seems to be about what it once was. However, almost every item has a clearance sticker on it. The items that did not were identical to the items with stickers on them.

Home Improvement and Automotive: A few basic items, but no depth. This department has the dollar store selection in place.

Lawn and Garden/Seasonal: Some leftover summer merchandise at full price. The Garden Center is closed. Holiday merchandise was 50% off (but that's the case everywhere at this time of year).

Toys: Everything had a clearance sticker on it and was just piled on shelves. There was very little left. The four aisle area could have been reduced to 1-2 aisles at most.

Stationery/Office: Limited selection, except for Crayola merchandise, which filled 2 aisles and was an additional 25% off.

Pharmacy: Sign noted that the pharmacy was open Monday-Saturday with new hours, but closed Sundays.

Health and Beauty: Selection was the best in the store--full shelves, variety, etc. Everything was an additional 10% off the marked price.

Pantry: Reduced to 4 aisles for Food, Pets, Cleaning. Refrigerated cases had milk and drinks, but nothing else. Selection of brands and merchandise was minimal at best.

Baby: Limited assortment. But, the shelves appeared full.

Appliances: Outside signs still up. Appliance area was behind shelving that had been moved forward to block off the back part of the store.

Clothing: All racks (half the store) had signs for 25% off the lowest marked price. Through the stockroom doors I could see row after row of rolling carts with more clothing to be moved to the floor. There just isn't room for it all.

Shoes: Actually had someone working, but not in KMart garb. The prices were as marked.

All services have been removed except for the pharmacy. A sign at the service desk/checkout (there are no individual registers, just 3 at the service desk), said "This KMart Liquidation Center" would no longer accept Layaway as of some date in September 2012.

On various shelves throughout the store there were signs that said "This Liquidation Category 10% Off," but I could never tell if it was the whole area or just one shelf.

The signs on the cart corrals show KDollar with the previously linked logo. Underneath on all signs is the phrase "discounts & dollar deals & more" along with the pharmacy logo.

Just to get a receipt, I bought something. The receipt still says KMart and looks normal--no mention of KDollar or Liquidation Center.

It doesn't look good for this store.
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Re: K dollar

Postby dcpeachy » July 1st, 2013, 2:16 pm

As of June 30, 2013, the Albuquerque KDollar is going out of business. The Albuquerque Journal had an advertisement for the $3 million dollar store closing and liquidation. I guess the KDollar concept didn't work out here.
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