Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Alpha8472
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by Alpha8472 »

There is one more Sears in Northern California in Concord. That store is a classic 1960s style store. Even the original palm trees are still there. It is in a mall that does decent to good business. The JCPenney announced its closure, but the mall made a deal and JCPenney changed its mind.

Sears closes at 6 when the rest of the mall is open until 8. They are losing tons of business. Most people do not get off work in time to get to Sears.

Concord also had a very busy and totally new looking Kmart up until a couple of years ago. It was the nicest Kmart that I had ever seen. It was well stocked and had the latest Kmart decor. There was no Target or Walmart in the city, so Kmart did good business. After Kmart closed, Target rejected the site as the lease restriction said no grocery sales allowed.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

I don't know why I thought the Concord Sears was already closed. I will need to go check that one out soon.

The Concord Kmart had the usual prepackaged non perishable grocery items inside the store so it is interesting Target could not get at least whatever terms Kmart had as far as selling grocery items goes. Or maybe that wasn't good enough for Target.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by bryceleinan »

South Lake Tahoe, CA will no longer have Blue Light specials as of August:

https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/ ... is-summer/

Storewanderer has done a good job summing this store up… little in the way of hardlines, lots of polo and t-shirts (I picked up a few because they have big & tall) and some HBA items. Of note, the bathrooms in both Raley’s and Kmart are closed - porta-potties in the parking lot were locked. Kmart will always hold a special place in my memories from when I was a kid in the mid-1980s, but it’s sad to see how the chain is dying - this time, it’s it.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

bryceleinan wrote: June 15th, 2021, 9:00 pm South Lake Tahoe, CA will no longer have Blue Light specials as of August:

https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/ ... is-summer/
This store had a "Now Hiring" sign outside the front doors. What a total joke.
After this closure, there are 15 or so Kmarts left. Only 3 west of the Mississippi River (Grass Valley, Freedom, CA; Hamilton, MT). They just closed their last SoCal store. One left in the entire Midwest (Marshall, MI).

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've been to a Sears and Kmart, as I was born around the time both chains started to struggle.

I think Kmart started to struggle in the 1990's when Walmart and Target were really getting more competitive. While Walmart focused on its low prices, and Target focused on being more upscale, Kmart didn't have a focus.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

The Freedom (Watsonville), CA Kmart was also announced for closure today... it will close August 22 and also begin liquidation sale on June 17...

No announcement I can find on Grass Valley but aside from that-the plans submitted to the city of Grass Valley for a new Target in the building...

I've taken quite a few photos in South Lake Tahoe the past month... I figured it was about to go. Only 20 employees on staff sounds about right. In the old days 20 years ago on a weekend there would have been 20 employees working in the front end area alone (cashiers, customer service desk, and supervisors) at a given time during the day. What a fall for this store. The C&S items running so low in recent months was the big tip off to me that it would not be long, though they did get a small shipment of C&S items a couple weeks ago. Then again I've been saying that it looked like it was about to go for a while and even a broken clock is accurate twice a day.

Could flip this and have Target open in time for the holidays.

The Kmart South Lake Tahoe restrooms have had problems for a while; they were renovated about three years ago but it did not solve what seems to be plumbing issues, sewage issues, odor issues. The manager's office is right by those restrooms but the odor problems took months to get fixed two summers ago. They had reopened them a few months ago then closed them again by shutting the lights off in the area and putting up a sign, but they were still unlocked... nobody around to patrol usage. Not sure why the Raleys ones would have been closed- they were open last week.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by Alpha8472 »

Plumbing problems are usually not fixed by a remodel. You can change the toilets but the plumbing problems are with the pipes further away leading to the city sewer system.

Many Walmart stores and Kmart stores have plumbing problems because shoplifters take merchandise into the bathrooms and then flush the packaging. I have seen packaging in the toilets many times. I have even talked to the managers at Walmart. The shoplifters flush so much stuff down the toilets that they have spent thousands of dollars multiple times to flush the pipes. It keeps happening over and over again. I believe the cost was over $50,000.

Often, the shoplifters chicken out and flush the merchandise down the toilets too when they are too afraid to actually shoplift.

The real money is made by the plumbing companies charging an arm and a leg.
Last edited by Alpha8472 on June 16th, 2021, 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

Alpha8472 wrote: June 16th, 2021, 9:53 am Plumbing problems are usually not fixed by a remodel. You can change the toilets but the plumbing problems are with the pipes further away leading to the city sewer system.

Many Walmart stores and Kmart stores have plumping problems because shoplifters take merchandise into the bathrooms and then flush the packaging. I have seen packaging in the toilets many times. I have even talked to the managers at Walmart. The shoplifters flush so much stuff down the toilets that they have spent thousands of dollars multiple times to flush the pipes. It keeps happening over and over again. I believe the cost was over $50,000.

Often, the shoplifters chicken out and flush the merchandise down the toilets too when they are too afraid to actually shoplift.

The real money is made by the plumbing companies charging an arm and a leg.
Where this is going to end is with no public restrooms in these stores. I suppose another option would be (I am only being halfway serious here) to have "outside entry" restrooms like an old fast food restaurant.

Newer Target Stores have the restrooms positioned in a way that it would be quite difficult to get merchandise into them from the sales floor. If they were much closer to the exit they'd be outside entry. They are also positioned in a way that many eyes are at least passively on the traffic flowing to the restrooms- from customer service, to self checkout attendant, to security guard, to even Starbucks employee off in the distance.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

South Lake Tahoe Kmart tonight before the 7 PM closing time- working on getting the store closing signs hung, removing all sale signs throughout softlines, and tagging what little was left in hardlines with manual price labels.

Signs posted on the entry said "CASH ONLY." Not sure what was up with that. Also the price scanners were all on but flashed an "out of service" message on the screen.

The Kmart Garden Center/Receiving Department at 1030 Tata Lane in South Lake Tahoe has removed everything from its sales floor and also the Kmart Garden Center sign has been removed. However the parking lot of the abandoned looking building is full of Kmart shopping carts and it did appear there were bags of dirt or some other something on storage racks at the corner of the lot in the back (not the area where the parking lot is). Given they removed the sign I am wondering if they still occupy the space or if they let the space go but didn't clean it up first. Lots of stuff to dispose of there.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by Alpha8472 »

Cash only and no price scanners indicates that their internet is down. They also can't print price signs or use their other internet dependent computer systems. The cash registers can accept cash in offline mode.

Did they not pay their internet and phone bill? Or maybe they just cut it off early to save money.

Outside restrooms is actually a good idea. It will cut down on thousands in shoplifting. They could put the restrooms near the entrance vestibule.

I saw Target bring in portable restroom trailers during a remodel. The restrooms were so fancy. There was wood flooring and high end bathroom fixtures. It was luxurious. A homeless person could live there.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

On Reddit there is a post about a Kmart in NJ also being cash only. Maybe they had a chainwide system problem.

Also interesting someone was maintaining the Facebook page for the Tahoe Store as recently as 3 days ago...
https://www.facebook.com/pg/KmartSLT/po ... e_internal

Same for the Freedom store:
https://www.facebook.com/kmartfreedom3725/

But perhaps the most interesting is the Guam Store:
https://www.facebook.com/KmartGuam7705/

They even have a print ad?
Lots of the same weird merchandise that the CA Kmarts have had in the home category "Gibson Home" and Oster stuff.
If you go all the way back to ads before March 2020 you will see various Kmart private labels in general merchandise- Northwest Territory, Essential Home, etc. That all disappeared after March 2020.
Also seeing both Best Yet and Essential Everyday on food?
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