America has seen its fair share of successful department stores through the years. Most people will remember shopping at ‘Kmart.’ The store was a feature of many strip malls in the 80s and 90s. Do you remember anything you purchased on ‘The Blue Light Special?’
Unfortunately, there are only 3 Kmarts left in the country. During Kmart’s most successful period, there were over 2,000 stores nationwide. The store was featured in TV and movies, permeating pop culture in America.
Celebrities endorsed Kmart products, and Americans shopped the stores for clothes, supplies, and housewares. In many ways, Kmart served the country as Walmart does currently. It was the go-to store for almost everything at a reasonable price.
Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, making it the largest U.S. retailer to ever make that move, in 2002. Other stores like Target, Walmart, and even Amazon have pushed Kmart out of the retail space.
Kmart Corporation was first incorporated in 1899 as S.S. Kresge Corporation, and it was renamed Kmart corporation in 1977. The very first store opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. At its peak in 1994, Kmart had amassed 2,486 operating stores globally, including Super Kmart locations.
Along with Kmart, Blockbuster Video has been reduced to one single location in Bend, Oregon. The video store America turned to for entertainment for years used to have 9,000 locations. The single remaining store has become a tourist attraction for those hoping to relive the glory days of VHS and DVD.
Will the last three Kmart locations experience the same nostalgic treatment from the American public? Time will tell, but there’s still hope that the department store giant of the 80s and 90s can survive a bit longer.