By Kevin Williams
As Sears and Kmart are in their death spiral, another round of closings has been announced, these are slated for March. Man, this list really hits home...just because so many of these stores are in small towns where their closing will rip at the retail fabric and landscape. I've been to a LOT of these stores in my travels, especially the Kmarts. Often I'd run in just to buy a notebook or a pen or maybe a snack. Kmarts were beacons of comfort that made an unfamiliar place seem more familiar. Once these stores close, they are gone. They aren't coming back.
I remember driving in rural eastern New York state one dark night and I wasn't even sure where I was (this was pre-GPS days) and then I saw it: a bright sign of a Kmart on the edge of Queensbury, NY. By Kmart standards, it was a gorgeous store....a Super Kmart, with a glass atrium and airy aisles. When I saw it I just remember feeling "whew, I'm out of the long dark drive, now I've arrived somewhere." SIGH, now that Kmart in Queensbury will turn into a super-size U-Haul rental and retail store. At least that one is being repurposed. Nothing more sad than an empty, unused Kmart.
The Kmart on the list below in Peru, Indiana. I've been to that one, stopped there to buy some socks once after giving a talk in Kokomo. I just recognize so many towns on the list as places I've been and even stopped at those Kmarts and Sears.
It's just sad, it'd be less sad, in some way, if they'd just put the store out of it's long misery.
Tucson: 7055 East Broadway
Apple Valley: 20777 Bear Valley Road
Auburn: 2505 Bell Road
Burbank: 1000 San Fernando Road
Santa Maria: 2875 Santa Maria Way
Stockton: 2180 E Mariposa Road
Vernon: 295 Hartford Turnpike
Ellenton: 6126 Hwy 301
Fort Walton Beach: 200 Irwin NE
Peru: 11 Sherwood Square
Metairie: 2940 Veterans Blvd.
Baltimore: 8980 Waltham Woods Road
Rochester: 201 Ninth St. SE
Crystal City: 155 Twin City Mall
Gulfport: 12057 Highway 49 Delmar Plaza
Asheville: 980 Brevard Road
Morehead City: 4841 Arendell St
Morganton: 110 112 Bost Road
Grand Forks: 1900 S Washington St.
Alliance: 1515 W 3rd St.
Toms River: 213 Highway 37 E
Roswell: 1705 S Main St 308 Dix Avenue
Greenwich: 1251 State Rte 29 Ste 1O Greenwich Plaza
Horseheads: 1020 Center Street Grand Central Plaza
Queensbury: 308 Dix Avenue
Wellsville: 121 Bolivar Road
Cleveland: 7701 Broadview Road 620 Plaza Dr 400 N East Circle Blvd.
Fostoria: 620 Plaza Drive
Corvallis: 400 N East Circle Blvd.
Erie: 2873 W 26Th St.
Pittsburgh: 996 West View Park Drive
Sumter: 1143 Broad St.
Rapid City: 1111 E North St.
Kingsport: 1805 E Stone Drive
Sevierville: 217 Forks Of River Pkwy
Spokane: 4110 E Sprague Ave.
Oconomowoc: 1450 Summit Ave.
Colorado Springs: 2050 Southgate Road*
Colorado Springs: 1650 Briargate Blvd.*
Pueblo: 3201 Dillon Drive*
Daytona Beach: 1700 W Intl Speedway Blvd.
Port Charlotte: 1441 Tamiami Trl*
Port Richey: 409 U.S. Highway 19 N Ste 101*
Tallahassee: 1500 Apalachee Pkwy.*
Tampa: 347 Westshore Plz*
Gainesville: 150 Pearl Nix Pkwy*
Sioux City: 4480 Sergeant Road*
Cherry Valley: 7200 Harrison Ave.*
Fairview Heights: 235 Saint Clair Sq.*
Wichita: 7700 E Kellogg Drive
Metairie: 4400 Veterans Mem Blvd.
Salisbury: 2306 N Salisbury Blvd.*
Muskegon: 5500 Harvey St.*
Novi: 27600 Novi Road
Bloomington: 2000 N E Court
Durham: 1620 Guess Road*
Durham: The Streets Of Southpoint*
Lincoln: 6400 O St.*
Omaha: 424 Dodge St.*
Las Vegas: 3450 S Maryland Pkwy*
Rochester: 10 Miracle Mile Drive
Columbus: 5053 Tuttle Crossing Blvd.
Columbus: 1400 Polaris Pkwy*
Springfield: 1475 Upper Valley Pike*
Medford: 501 Medford Ctr*
Altoona: 5580 Goods Lane Ste 1005*
Greensburg: 5256 Route 30*
Lancaster: 200 Park City Ctr*
Goodlettsville: 1000 Rivergate Pkwy
Jackson: 2021 N Highland Ave.
Abilene: 4310 Buffalo Gap Road*
Amarillo: 7701 1-40 W Ste 400*
Killeen: 2100 S W S Young Drive*
Plano: 851 N Central Expwy*
Port Arthur: 3100 Highway 365
Richardson: 201 S Plano Road*
Waco: 6001 W Waco Drive*
Charlottesville: 1531 Rio Road E*
Kennewick: 1321 N Columbia Center Blvd Suite 455*
Appleton: 4301 W Wisconsin Ave.
I agree with your feelings about the Sears and Kmart closings. When I was young, my parents would shop at the Kmart a lot on College Ave. in Appleton, Wi. My Aunt worked there as a sales lady, so it was always fun to see her there. Then we would venture sometimes to the deli, and my dad would buy us all a submarine sandwich or a pudding cup, while my mom would finish up with the shopping. Man, those were the BEST subs ever! Subway doesn't even compare to how good they tasted. Very sad to say that place closed in the '90's along with Prange Way (another retail store). It's lot still sits empty, with grass shooting up among the cracks. Prange Way turned into a car lot. Sigh. At least I have those wonderful memories.
Ahhh, thanks for sharing that, Mary...you paint a picture of an idyllic era that is gone and won't be coming back.....and I didn't know that Kmart ever had a deli that sold subs....sounds amazing, the way you describe them!