A placard at the Willow Street, Pennsylvania Kmart on September 2, 2020 instructs customers to not ... [+] sit at the patio furniture display, due to COVID-19. I’ve been cited in media publications as a department store “historian,” “lecturer,” “expert,” “guru,” “aficionado,” “junkie,” and “maven.” I am an oboist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and grew up in the Philadelphia area. Plastic pumpkins fill a bin at the Manhattan Kmart on September 2, 2020. Back in 2009, I took on a personal challenge and wrote a book about Hutzler’s in Baltimore. The Manhattan Kmart store, as shown on September 1, 2020, is already stocked with Halloween ... [+] merchandise. Located three hours southwest of Manhattan, the store is situated in a rural community, just south of Lancaster. Just ten years ago there were around 100. However, this surviving Kmart location has a different feel than other Kmarts. But the employee stated that Halloween merchandise is on its way and should be on the shelves in just a few weeks. Transformco started off 2020 with a store closing strategy that included a final liquidation sale at 96 Kmart and Sears locations. Costello acknowledges that Kmart will soon start stocking its stores with holiday merchandise. A recent visit to the Kmart in Lower Manhattan showed newly-stocked shelves of Halloween merchandise throughout the store’s Seasonal department. But to the surprise of skeptics, a handful of Kmart locations have remained in operation and have started stocking shelves with holiday-themed merchandise. Kmart also operates the kmart.com website, which includes merchandise from Sears. It is one of two remaining Kmarts ... [+] in the Keystone State. I write about department stores; past and present. I love telling stories and I stand by my research. The area is populated by residents and college students that depend on its large stock of clothing and more. newly found dominance. the employees' loyalty and efforts during COVID-19. A large collection of plastic pumpkins, children’s costumes, and ghostly figurines confirmed that this store has plans beyond the COVID-19 summer of 2020. When asked about Christmas goods, the employee stated, “We just want to get through Halloween first.”. A wall display at the Willow Street, Pennsylvania Kmart, as shown on September 2, 2020, celebrates ... [+] the employees' loyalty and efforts during COVID-19. I have authored nine additional department store history books and lectured at locations such as the New York Public Library, Boston Public Library, New York Fashion Week, the Wanamaker centennial celebration, and the Historical Society of Washington DC. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. WMT “Big Kmart” was a reaction to Walmart’s The company is owned by Sears Holdings, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2018. ... defies the company’s precarious financial condition. Plastic pumpkins fill a bin at the Manhattan Kmart on September 2, 2020. You may opt-out by. My mother went shopping every day and I fell in love with road trips and department stores, two of her favorite passions. It seemed like the store is anxious to begin its Christmas promotional period but, upon further inspection, the Seasonal department also includes excess stock of Easter grass, St. Patrick’s Day necklaces, and Valentine’s Day bears from years past. One Willow Street employee reported that COVID-19 has hampered shipments to the store. The Kmart in the town of Willow Street, Pennsylvania has stood guard since 1991. Try D&B Hoovers Free Kmart sales EOFY 2020 This is where you can find all the offers available at Kmart during this end of financial year period. A number of Sears and Kmart stores have recently appeared on commercial real estate leasing sites. But Transformco is little more than a renaming of the company’s retail operations. Twenty years ago, there were over 2,100 locations. In a rare statement, Larry Costello, PR Director for Transformco, outlined the company’s strategy. Christmas wrapping paper is prominently displayed at a Kmart in Manhattan on September 1, 2020. The arrival of plastic pumpkins at the three dozen remaining Kmarts does not mean that the retailer’s future is safe. This location has played an important role in this Lower Manhattan community. “Halloween costumes and related products will be available in stores in mid-September." Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. But its counterpart on 34th Street, adjacent to Penn Station, did not survive the retailer’s rolling tally of store closures from last February. When 2019 came to a close, it seemed possible that it might have been the final holiday season for Kmart. “Layaway at Kmart has been a great service and very popular among our members, especially for holiday shopping and back to school.” Kmart and Sears prefer to use the term “members,” rather than “shoppers” or “customers.”. That’s not often the case. It went through six printings in six weeks. In 1991, Walmart surpassed Kmart as the country’s largest mass merchandiser. Many predicted that Kmart and Sears could not continue much longer in any form. Kmart survived the entire month of August without initiating any additional store closures. The retailer seemed like it was running out of stores to close and had abandoned its presence in most major metropolitan markets. Some locations offer immediate availabilities. Christmas wrapping paper can also be found in its Seasonal department. I’m also at www.departmentstorehistory.net. Approximately only three dozen Kmart stores, located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam are currently in operation. I’ve been cited in media publications as a department store “historian,” “lecturer,” “expert,” “guru,” “aficionado,” “junkie,” and “maven.” I am an oboist with the. The Willow Street, Pennsylvania Kmart still maintains a collection of coin-operated rides outside ... [+] its main entrance. These stores may still be open but their leases are up for sale. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. The Kmart website is already selling Halloween costumes, along with artificial Christmas trees. Kmart has made radical cutbacks to its store base in recent years. However, no one predicted the scenarios that exist this September: a small collection of Kmart stores standing ready for the 2020 holiday shopping season and a global pandemic throwing the world into chaos with over 26.4 million diagnosed cases of a deadly virus. Transformco, the current operator of Kmart and Sears stores, was created in 2019 after Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy. The “Big Kmart" format was introduced in 1997 and was designed to provide shoppers with expanded grocery departments, wide aisles, brighter lights, and larger merchandise assortments. It’s one of 2 Kmarts still remaining in the Keystone state. There is a sense of pride at Willow Street. sit at the patio furniture display, due to COVID-19. In the end, “Big Kmart” was little more than a fresh paint job and some rearranged shelves. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, appeared on commercial real estate leasing sites. The Kmart in Willow Street, Pennsylvania has operated since 1991. Transformco, in its most recent statement on store reopenings, lists 40 locations that have reopened as of June 1, which would indicate that as … The one-time discounting powerhouse had been continuously closing locations over the past several years. Kmart is often known for neglected store buildings with sparsely stocked shelves and long checkout lines hampered by antiquated technology. About 180 locations house have in-store pharmacies. “Our current focus at Kmart is on end-of-summer deals,” said Costello. Find out the revenue, expenses and profit or loss over the last fiscal year. It was too little, too late. Unfortunately, as Kmart tried to play catch up to Walmart, it only made marketing blunders and fell farther behind. The fact that Kmart is even alive, in any bricks-and-mortar format, defies the company’s precarious financial condition. The Willow Street store still has the “Big Kmart” moniker on its storefront. It’s clean, respectfully stocked, and staffed with employees who are helpful and willing to sell. Get the detailed quarterly/annual income statement for Walmart Inc. (WMT). I have contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Southern Living. Earlier today, parent company Wesfarmers announced full-year earnings for its Kmart Group — which includes the Target and Kmart chains — were likely to drop by as much as $103 million. Over the years, Sears Holdings, and its CEO Eddie Lampert, have been selling off the company piece by piece, from Craftsman tools to Kenmore appliances. Last September, Neil Saunders of GlobalData Retail told CNN Business that Kmart was a “tired” brand that “has little to offer.” Saunders suggested that the company is “on a journey where the ultimate destination is failure.”.