Friday, September 16, 2011

Dead K Mart in San Antonio Texas

Attention K Mart shoppers there is a blue light special, but not at this location. This was a Super K Mart that probably closed nearly 10 years ago when K Mart pulled out of San Antonio and Houston. This location is eerily similar to the Super K Mart that sat abandoned in Humble Texas that was redeveloped after sitting for 9 years in nearly the same condition as this location.


One hour photo will be delayed for a very long time.
The garden center grows once again; weeds.
The former Little Caesars on the left side of the building.

12 comments:

  1. Nice photos of an abandoned Super Kmart.

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  2. i used hate walmart but be honest they dont bascailly every store they got i mean common

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  3. i dont like what the ceo of kmart is doing

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    1. The ceo of Kmart/ Sears made some bad choices early on that are coming back to harm the company. Not updating the stores is the major problem that is hurting the company now.

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    2. EVERY CEO of Kmart has contributed to the failure. It just took 35 years to run out of money. Cunningham: expanding too fast; Dewar: changing the stores; Fauber: ignoring Kmart in favor of acquired companies; Antonini: trying to update without funding; Floyd Hall: Big Kmart and Venture purchases; Conaway: Chapter 7 and overspending; Adamson: getting out of Chapter 7 too fast; Lampert: trying to make money off failure. It shouldn't be so much of a surprise that they are failing; it should be a surprise that it took this long.

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    3. I guess Fast Eddie has slowed the inevitable. It is a shame that so many companies take short term gains for themselves at the expense of long term success. The Big Kmart initiative was an attempt to bring the brand into the 90's that did not do much to help out. Super Kmart stores seemed to do well early on and then faltered as well. I hope we will see Kmart continue at least into 2020.

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    4. While I can't speak about all of the Kmart CEOs in the detail Scott has, I will say that Kmart made a major blunder in the 1980s by trying to diversify into all kinds of "category killer" chains like Builders Square, Borders, and a whole bunch of others including some very forgettable chains. The same could be said about Sears too I guess, but I think things were even worse for Kmart. Wal-Mart and Target were making in-roads in the discount store sector in the 1980s. Instead of renovating their stores and developing the inventory and supplier infrastructure that Wal-Mart did, Kmart was too busy trying to find the next retail concept fad. I guess one can't blame them. After all, Kmart exists because of an experiment by Kresge's and some of the segments they experimented with are now very viable forms of retail (home improvement and warehouse club stores most specifically), but those projects were run with the same ineptitude that let Wal-Mart pass them decades ago.

      I think Antonini had some good ideas, but it was too little too late. By the late 1990s, the Kmart shopping experience was really quite bad. In a few ways, it might have been even worse then than it is now (though there are certainly aspects to the current operation which set new lows). I remember going to our Kmarts in Houston, mostly ex-Venture stores, and seeing the stores out of advertised products, shelves that were in disarray, price tags that expired two weeks prior were still out, and they often only had one checkout line open leading to long waits even though they had very few shoppers. I was a loyal Kmart shopper, but it was quite difficult to be loyal to them during that period. Then, of course, they left town.

      The initial optimism about Lampert's arrival quickly went away and the Big Kmart concept, which underwhelmed shoppers in 1997, is still around at most of the remaining Kmarts. It's a huge shame, but I agree with Scott that this has been many decades in the making.

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  4. I used to have a Super Kmart in Round Lake Beach, IL that opened in February 6, 1995 and closed December of 2013. Kmart's bankruptcy was probably one of the worst retail bankruptcy in the history. They were closing stores that had just opened 2 years that were total ground up built stores, profitable stores and just making no scene over the entirety of it. If I was the CEO during there bankruptcy, all of the Super K's would have stayed open. Many people don't relize that there bankrupty could have been much worst with more stores closed. Back in 2003, the Harlingen and Longview Kmart's had planned to close and the Super K in Round Lake Beach was also on there and I had found another planned list in 2002. The 2002 list is here: https://www.homeworldbusiness.com/unofficial-list-of-kmart-store-closures/ And here is 2003:http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=5619
    Both quite shocking list to look at.

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    1. The Kmart bankruptcy killed nearly all of the Kmart's in the largest populated areas of Texas. Here in Houston we lost all of our stores within 2 years and one that was fairly new in Katy Texas like you mentioned. All we were left with was Lufkin over 100 miles away, Lake Charles, 140 miles away, and Kileen over 180 miles away. Lake Charles will close September 2nd so the only Kmarts near Houston are over 5 hours away now. McAllen (last in Texas near the Mexican border) 2 in Metairie La, and 1 in Gulfport Ms. So unless we get the combo Sears/Kmart stores, I may not see another Kmart for a very long time.

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    2. Kmart in Houston had many relatively new locations at the time of the 2002-3 bankruptcy and withdrawal from the Houston area. There were the Super Kmarts from the mid-1990s, more than a handful of 1990s regular Kmarts, and then the even greater number of mostly 1990s-built ex-Venture stores that Kmart moved into in 1997. My guess is that Kmart owed a lot of money on those newer locations and decided to get out from those debts during bankruptcy. Kmart would have had some remaining older stores which may have not had a high debt load, but some of those locations were in declining areas. On top of that, the competition was fierce in Houston at the time as both Target and Wal-Mart had and have major presences here. The grocery competition in Houston is pretty fierce too with more chains than most other cities.

      I think Kmart was in a tough spot in the Houston market. The aggressiveness in opening new stores may have hurt them, but I don't think they could have maintained their older stores without the newer ones as many of them were in declining areas. I also think that some of the ex-Venture spots that Kmart moved into weren't in great locations either which really hurt Kmart's chances. The 290 and 43rd St and 1960 and I-45 stores are examples from this area which come to mind immediately.

      It's very sad that Kmart left this area. I hated receiving the news back in 2002-3, but I think it really would have been a struggle for them had they stayed even if Eddie Lampert never happened.

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  5. Is that old Super Kmart still there or not anymore?

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    1. If anyone is out in the San Antonio area, can you reply to this comment and give an answer? I have not been by this area since these images were taken.

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