Through the years, America has had its fair share of successful department shops. Most people recall shopping at ‘Kmart.’ In the 1980s and 1990s, the shop was common in many strip malls. Do you recall anything you bought during ‘The Blue Light Special?’
Unfortunately, the country only has three Kmarts remaining. Kmart had almost 2,000 stores nationally during its most prosperous phase. The shop was featured on TV and in movies, penetrating American mainstream culture.
Kmart items were praised by celebrities, and Americans browsed the stores for clothing, supplies, and housewares. In many respects, Kmart serviced the country in the same manner that Walmart does now. It was the place to go for nearly anything at a fair price.
In 2002, Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, becoming the largest retailer in the United States to do so. Kmart has been driven out of the retail arena by competitors such as Target, Walmart, and even Amazon.
Kmart Corporation was founded in 1899 as S.S. Kresge Corporation and changed its name to Kmart Corporation in 1977. The first business opened in Garden City, Michigan in 1962. Kmart had 2,486 active shops worldwide, including Super Kmart sites, at its height in 1994.
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.