‘The Quietest Hour of Consumption in Nebraska’

An empty Kmart is a beautiful thing…”

We stumbled across an essay by Kate Bingaman, who runs the design meets i-like-shopping site ObsessiveConsumption The piece is an ode to the Kmart superstore closing down, a place she used to frequent late-nights to help get her to sleep. She writes:

    I wandered the office supply aisles and ran my hand over the loose leaf paper, plastic binders and picked up and put down packs of Bic pens. So much product on sale. So many things that I really didn’t need.”

Since Kmart closed, Kate’s moved on to Walgreens.

It’s a nice read: “Attention Kmart Shoppers: The Closing of a beloved friend.”

Previously: We’re OCD for ObsessiveConsumption.com!


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  1. kerry says:

    Man, I thought I was the only one with a love of late-night aisle browsing. Years ago I started going to Walgreens in the middle of the night to look for nothing, once I walked out with hot hair rollers at 2am. Usually I’d just buy a pack of cigarettes and some jelly beans. I loved the people who were there so late, and found the browsing process very relaxing. This, of course, is all part of my compulsive shopping problem. Still, I didn’t realize there were others like me out there. Since I gave up my car and got a “real” job I haven’t done it. So sad, so sad.

  2. AcidReign says:

    …..If I’m still up at 2:00 AM, and not at work, I’ve gotten into the Grande Amber, or the Goldschlager, and shouldn’t be driving! I can agree that shopping at night is less crowded, but I can barely manage to get everything on my list during the day….

  3. etinterrapax says:

    I used to love late-night shopping when I worked swing shift, and when I did overnights, I got many a lunch at the 24-hour groceries in my hometown. Now neither grocery is open 24 hours; the only place that is open all night is Wal-Mart, and I don’t shop there any more. But I did move to a town where people go to bed early, so Target is desolate between 9 and 10 PM. Often I’m one of about five shoppers in the whole place. I’m torn between wanting other people to discover this area so we can get through the two or three gentrifications we need to have better stores, and hoping they never do discover it so that I can keep shopping in peace.

  4. Bubba Barney says:

    Recently I was at a Kmart that had been converted in to a Sears Essential store. It was the middle of the day on a Saturday and the place was desolate[!].

    There must have been like 10 people total in the entire store [including myself, cashiers, and one lone stock woman].

    I actually had to search for people to assist me with what I was trying to find. Being so empty though, did allow us few to enjoy the piped in 80’s music. It was almost surreal in David Lynch kind of way.

  5. LLH says:

    i too am a ultra late night/very early morning shopper. usually i do my food shopping at one of 3 24 hour ralphs in my hollywood neighborhood. it’s much quieter (i hate kids running around) and i can think and stroll along taking in all of the new products and the many many things to look at, not as individuals, but as a big picture type snapshot (i’m one of those hyper-visual stimulated people). it also wears me right out, i can barely carry the food upstairs.