Wednesday, December 27, 2017

RIP Kmart Lufkin Texas March 26, 2017

This was the closest Kmart to Houston Texas located in Lufkin Texas. The store closed on March 26, 2017 after 34 years in business.

We start in the early portion of the closing sale, the exterior store closing signs were not up at this point.

The standard interior store closing signs were being put up across the store. I will let most of the photos speak for themselves. 

Old school Kmart stickers on the door

The electronics department was already wiped out. Good items had probably been sent back or moved to other stores at this point. 

Garden shop still full at this point in the sale. 

Fishing reels already almost gone as well.

One of the unique Kmart displays around the store.

The pantry department looked almost normal as much of the store did at this point in the sale.

Sodas were already slim as well. 

Christmas still very well stocked in mid January.

Now for more of the electronics and appliance departments.

Almost like a modern Service Merchandise ordering system.

Lots of TV's left. 

Random items and mattresses were added to the former electronics department as inventory shrunk.

Can use this, the computer is offline.

Once Kmart and Sears switched over to this card ordering system, they probably did not sell to many cameras. Try before you buy, right?

Layaway closed

The former KCafe which closed many years ago. Most stores don't even bother covering the space up like they did here.

Visit #2 further along in the sale, on a cool rainy day.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs!

Now the store inventory was thinning out and parts of the store were blocked off.

Remember the sporting goods department from the 1st set of photos? Here it is being broken apart and nearly devoid of merchandise.

The back aisles of the store with hardware and automotive was clearing out as well.

This is the once full garden shop.

The electronics department.

Some of the automotive and hardware items were moved to the empty electronics shelves.

Looking from the electronics department to the front of the store.

Lots of items were shipped to the store for the sale, including out of area sports team gear.

The irony of the sign on this rack.

This was the last day of the Pharmacy filling prescriptions.

Here are some images from a couple of months before the store closing sale began.

3rd trip, final 9 days of the sale.

Things look very different as the store clears out.

My favorite department now completely empty.

Not much inventory left besides clothes at this point.

Looking from near the garden shop across the store. As the store empties out it seems smaller.

Kmart employees were in the Easter Spirit despite the closing. 

This is it, the final day of the Lufkin Kmart

A huge chunk of the store was barricaded off so access was limited.

Not much left at this point, the store was scheduled to close in less than 5 hours. 

A video of the crowds picking up last minute deals.

Employee farewell board.

A final view of the store exit.

Lufkin Kmart was a nice Kmart store that was one of the few surviving Kmart stores near Houston. Kmart closed a massive chunk of stores in Texas in 2017. Only 4 Kmart stores in Brownsville, Laredo, McAllen, and Portland will remain open after early 2018. The closest Kmart store now to Houston is in Lake Charles Louisiana around 2.5 hours away.

Now here is how the store sits as of December 2017. Empty and waiting for the next tenant.

Another one of my videos of the last day at Lufkin Kmart at my rarely used YouTube channel.


  1. Thanks for the photos of the closure of the Lufkin Kmart. I know we've talked about this store a lot over the years. At least we got one last look at the famed Lufkin Kmart Walkman woman. I also enjoyed the video.

    Did you find any interesting items during the closing sale? Maybe some old VHS movies or audio cassettes?

    It's a shame to have to travel as far as Portland/Corpus Christi or Lake Charles to go to a Kmart. It was bad enough when the Lufkin and Killeen stores were still around. Of course, who knows how much longer the Portland and Lake Charles Kmarts will be around.

    1. There is a lot of speculation that another round of Sears and Kmart closings are on the way. There are only 4 stores left in Texas that are mostly spaced out. Lake Charles is also far away from the cluster of 3 Kmart stores in the New Orleans metro area.

      The most interesting thing I found was a crappy CD in one of those old school security cases. The store received several team items from all over the place that were not sold there prior to the closing sale.

  2. I just saw the announcement about more Kmart and Sears closures in the area. The Portland (Corpus Christi) Kmart is now slated to close along with the Mandeville Kmart.

    The West Oaks Mall Sears is also slated to close. That will certainly put West Oaks in a real bind. It also means that Sears has virtually no presence at all on the heavily populated SW side of Houston. West Houston shoppers can (and probably already do) go to the Memorial City Mall Sears. Two other Sears will close in Texas including the Austin area Sears Grand store that you've featured before.

    1. It was almost scary how the day before those announcements were made I mentioned Sears and Kmart was potentially about to announce more store closings.

      Louisiana and Texas will now only have 3 Kmart stores each. Texas still has a lot of Sears stores but the West side of town will only have 2 if you include Shephard.

      I think it is safe to say that West Oaks is really in trouble now. I need to find my photos of the store which are I believe on my old phone or computer. They are somewhere I just need to find them again. I took at least 30 good photos of the store with some of the designs and signage.

      There are not many questionable locations left now. They are getting down to the best of the best and will now have less than 1,000 total locations after the closures. Truly sad.

    2. I don't know if your noticed, but the last Super Kmart is closing as well in Warren Ohio. I wish I could have made it down there, but I will be lucky to make it to Portland Tx. before it closes. There are only 5 Sears Grand stores left after this round of closures. The two Sears Grand stores that were subdivided are both closing. I am not sure if I will be able to make it out of town, but I would really like to see these stores.

    3. You certainly called the Sears closures, but I guess predicting Sears/Kmart closures is like predicting the sun will rise in the morning unfortunately! It'll be interesting to see how long West Oaks Mall hangs in there with the Dillard's clearance store being the only major anchor at the mall. The big box retail across Westheimer from the mall seems to do well, but the mall has struggled for years even when the Sears and Macy's were open. West Houston shoppers probably won't notice the loss since they shop at Memorial City Mall anyway, but SW side shoppers are now totally without a Sears anywhere near them.

      I look forward to seeing your photos of the West Oaks Mall Sears if you can find them. I remember being amazed at how nice the store compared to the average Sears was when I went there in the early 1990s and even the early 2000s. It certainly had a more department store-like feel to it than something like the Willowbrook or Deerbrook Mall Sears. The store wasn't in great shape during my last visit. The HVAC system either wasn't working or wasn't set to very comfortable levels and the nice lights in the escalator complex were turned off. I guess those were a sign of things to come unfortunately.

      I didn't realize that the last Super Kmart was on the closure list, but I'm not surprised to see it go. I last went to a Super Kmart in 2011 (that was actually the last Kmart I've been to) so I guess I got to see one pretty close to the end of their run.

    4. Looking at how the corridor that Macys was located is faring, the mall will struggle to keep stores in that section of the mall. I did manage to get some pictures this past week of the store again. The closing sale will start next week on the 19th.

      The retail in the area down Westheimer is hit or miss like FM 1960 West. There are a lot of shopping centers that have emptied out while the newer centers are booming.

      I am sure we will have plenty of videos from the last Super Kmart. There are a lot of vloggers in the area that frequent that store.

    5. I came across an article in the Houston Chronicle today about how West Oaks Mall recently picked up a new owner due to a bankruptcy. The new owner recently also brought the ex-Macy's building and is intending on converting it into some type of discount type outlet store. It sounds like the owners might be behind the Formal Gallery stores as well as they will be opening one of those stores at the mall. I think this is the same type of store that used to operate at the Mall of the Mainland up until the end of that mall's run before it was redeveloped by Karam.

      The article also notes that the Greenspoint Mall ex-Macy's was sold, but it doesn't say who brought it or what their intent is for the building.

      Anyway, we'll see if the Mehtas can do for West Oaks Mall what Karam did for the Mall of the Mainland.

    6. I did notice a sign facing Highway 6 that said "Outlet at West Oaks". That was all it said and I did not find anything online with a quick search. There is some activity going on inside of the former Macy's store. When I visited the mall a few weeks ago, there were some people inside of the store. The paper covering the mall entrance glass has already started falling off so you can see right into the store.

      West Oaks still has a lot of activity between the food court and Palais Royal. Once you walk towards Sears or through the food court, store vacancies increase. The Macy's wing especially is emptying out quickly.

  3. looks like if anyone in Houston wants sears they will have to visit the shepherd location or memorial city mall.
    If not, visit outside Houston Willowbrook, deerbrook Pasadena town square , or Texas city.
    RIP woodlands west oaks Westwood baybrook main street location.
    I wonder if sears will close locations slowly until they don't have anymore sears left to close.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Sears will be down to less than 1,000 stores down from over 3,500 just a few years ago. A lot of concept stores such as Sears Grand and the last Super Kmart will close.

    2. It should be noted that the Willowbrook Mall is actually within the Houston city limits. Houston annexed the area in the early 1990s. Also, the San Jacinto Mall Sears is also in the Houston metro area, but who knows how long that store will remain. I'm sure that Sears does decent business, but they're probably looking for a buyout from the mall redevelopers.

  4. Im amazed that any Kmart has survived here in Texas long after they've got out of business. I've saw this one when I rolled in to Lufkin back in 2004 while I was working as a driver. There is still one in operation in Portland Texas that I pass by every time I go to Corpus Christi

    1. I hate to break it to you, but the Portland Kmart may have closed today. It was on the list of stores released in January that were closing. The majority of the stores on the list were slated to close on April 8, 2018. Laredo and McAllen are the final Kmart stores in the state now.

      Louisiana still has 3 stores, 2 in Metairie and 1 in Lake Charles for now.