Sears’ Even Uglier Stepsister: Visiting A Series Of Incredibly Sad Kmarts

A few weeks ago, Brian Sozzi of Belus capital Advisors did something simple enough: he went to Sears, took a bunch of pictures, and posted them on the company blog. Apparently, no one on the Internet has been to a Sears since 1997, since the post was a huge hit. Now he’s done it again for Sears’ sibling store Kmart.

Yes, internet, Kmart still exists.

In a recent post about the troubles of the Sears Holdings brands, we passed on a quote from a former company executive interviewed by Businessweek. Keep this thought in mind as you look at the photos:

Ultimately, your customer is going to make a decision about your brand based on the weakest link. If you have a fabulous website and a crappy in-store experience—or vice versa—that’s going to impact your business.

Want to buy some shoes? We won't show you any display models.

Want to buy some shoes? We won’t show you any display models.

What's in this secret passage? Who cares? Just slap some clearance items in front of it.

What’s in this secret passage? Who cares? Just slap some clearance items in front of it.

Merchandise? What merchandise?

Merchandise? What merchandise?

Craftsman hot sauce seems like an odd brand extension.

Craftsman hot sauce seems like an odd brand extension.

This definitely expresses the level at which most Kmart staffers seem to give a crap.

This definitely expresses the level at which most Kmart staffers seem to give a crap.

Meanwhile, we’ll add a Consumerist-exclusive contribution: here’s a picture I took of Kmart in my hometown while visiting family. See how the store has been repainted a more modern color, but they left the fitting room wall orange with pale yellow letters instead of replacing the fitting room sign. That sign has been there for as long as I’ve been able to read.

fittingrooms

The Tragic Death of Kmart is Happening Right In Front of our Eyes [Belus Capital Advisors]

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  1. nandre says:

    The paint job looks like it’s from the 70s as well

  2. Dawgone11 says:

    It isn’t that hard K-Mart/Sears – it really isn’t. First, admit you suck, second blow the whole thing up and start from scratch. People just want a good experience and merchandise in stock. Wal-Mart certainly is not the king of customer service. Wal-Mart thrives in spite of themselves by getting at least 1/2 that equation (merchandise) correct about 3/4′s of the time. I swear you can do better if you really want to and bloody Wal-Mart’s nose.

  3. Pacer says:

    These photos are typical of K-Mart. I’ve been to three in the past 18 months – I dropped in to see if they were all actually as bad as I‘d heard and they were. I think the worst one was outside of Burlington, Vermont. Once I entered the store and walked down a couple of aisles I was completely lost in a maze of shelving and aisles. There were no visual cues to tell me where I was in relation to the front of the store. I was surrounded by tall shelves on all sides and the aisles were lined with cardboard boxes of merchandise. No indication of a fire exit, either. I eventually found my way through this maze and out to the front. In all the time I was there, I saw ONE employee and she was at a register. I was the only person in the store. The whole thing was creepy.

  4. crayon says:

    There was a store in Emeryville, California for awhile that closed. It was the most depressing store I’d even been in.. and that was right after opening. No matter how many customers were in the store, they’d have no more than 2 check out lines open and all of their employees were the gum cracking ghetto girl types.

  5. JGandB says:

    Why do I have to log out and then log in again in order to comment? Kind of a PITA…What I see at local K-Marts is rows of empty shelves…merchandise is not being ordered or restocked…the stores are just too big …they’d do better in small Dollar Store-sized stores