Once a retail giant, Kmart nears extinction after closure

I didn’t honestly realize there were any K-Mart stores left.

4 Likes

I remember reading Sam Walton’s book about how Walmart got started and he never ever thought in his wildest dreams he could compete with Kmart. Family members said on family vacations he would stop at every one he saw even if it was only 10 minutes apart to see how they did things. Amazing how they have not only competed with Kmart but have basically driven them out of business

I remember when it was Kressess five and dime, then Kmart then Sears bought it and doomed it.

1 Like

Management matters.

2 Likes

Having spent a good deal of time calling on Kmart in my career in Detroit and later in Chicago I concur that CEO Eddie Lambert was the main catalyst for the chains downfall. Prior to my Little Debbie career I was in retail Supermarket management which gives me some knowledge of the industry.

In the industry Lambert is known as “Fast Eddie”. He’s ruined the retirements of many, many good folks. Several I know. Sad.

I remmeber the last few times visiting a K Mart. They were always very cluttered and messy.

3 Likes

Watchful & hopeful that Walmart can continue to evolve & thrive in an ever-changing & competitive retail market & not follow in K-Mart’s footsteps.

Walmart is one of few Arkansas based companies that has remained a strong contributor to the state’s economy & employment. Walmart & Walton family have also been a strong supporters of & donors to the UofA (facilities, academics, & athletics) & to NWA.

Those are the reasons I shop at Sam’s club and not Costco.
Our trip to Sam’s yesterday cost a bit over $400, we were doing a little stocking up. Hope they can maintain and perhaps grow a little.

My grandma used to run the millinery department at Kmart in Hot Springs. (Nobody else remembers what millinery is either). That was approximately when Sam had that first store. Oh how things have changed.

Some once upon a time giants are gone. Sears & Kmart are a couple. There was a time Sears completely dominated retail. It was followed in size by J.C. Penney and Montgomery Ward. Then there were always a few smaller 5 & 10 type stores: Ben Franklin, Sterling, etc. Not to mention the mom & pop retailers in every small town and the local large department stores in smaller cities. Walmart has just about killed all of them. (I’m leaving out the upper end retailers like Neiman Marcus, Saks, Marshall Field & some of the mid to upper end types like Macy’s & Dillard’s)

Now Amazon seems to be the next huge monolith. Time will tell if it kills Walmart. I can’t see it, but in 1975, I couldn’t have imagined Sears going down, either.

1 Like

You should just ask me for advise about how things will turn out. When Amazon went from books to everything, I sagely advised that it would never make it. No way it could sell things to people at a reasonable price (comparable price) to Wal-Mart or whoever and mail the product and make a profit. No way! :slight_smile:

Dang I wish I could go back and invest in that “doomed” company!

2 Likes

I was advised right after I got out of college in 1974 to buy as much Walmart as I could. Tell me about not taking good advice or making bad decisions.

1 Like

Greg,

You were actually right. They lose money on almost everything they sell and ship. Their money comes from selling ads, cloud computing, and other parts of their business.

Long live the Blue Light Specials!!!

2 Likes

Dad was a lawyer who would charge his buddies from Booneville about 1/4 of what he normally charged for legal stuff…those buddies were some of the initial truck drivers for Walmart in the early to mid70s…by the time they all retired in the 80s and 90s…their stock had split several times and most were hovering around 1 million in retirement funds…if we only knew then what the future held

1 Like

As a kid we always went to Peter’s Point in Hot Springs fro summer vacation

One of the highlights was going to K Mart, and I would get to pick something from the toy department

There wasn’t even a K Mart in Little Rock back then, so it was a really big deal

I loved hanging out at the snack bar. That was a big treat.

Life was pretty simple back then.

1 Like

Now Richard Davenport please don’t go judging a book by it’s cover.
While attending college I accepted an asst. mngr. position with Kmart here in Tenn. Worked for them until an auto accident eventually helped to determine my services with the company had became too difficult for me to fulfill anymore at that particular time. Nevertheless…
we always kept a very clean and tidy store. That was important
to the Manager and was evident throughout our store.
Adgebg stated a few posts back that management matters and that’s so true. Kmart’s home office I think if I recall is right out of Battle Creek, Mi. and it started deteriorating in the middle 1980’s.
I recall the rumors swirling back then about mismanagement in Battle Creek.
Stores started closing one by one across the nation after that.
I realize you may not be strictly badgering Kmart as I am a Walmart customer too but it may be a store to store situation rather than a brand name epidemic.

I’m referring to the last few years they were in the LR market. It wasn’t that way when I was a kid.

I remember going to the K Mart grocery side on Asher as a kid.