Do-Gooder Buys Out A Closing Kmart To Donate $200K Worth Of Items To Charity

A Kentucky man was scoping out a Kmart set to close for good, trying to snag himself some good deals on the discounted items for his own business. But while he was at the register, a thought struck him — where does all the rest of this stuff go after the store is shut down? So he signed up to buy out the store and give items to the less fortunate.

The local business owner found himself making the generous move when a clerk told him he could be a power buyer before the Kmart closed its doors for good, reports

After six hours and running through four cash registers, he came away owning about $200,000 worth of clothing and supplies — all of which he promptly donated to Clark County Community Services.

“What I see is people coming in my store, needy people sell their stuff,” he told the news station. “It’s bad nowadays. I just told (the clerk) lets just give it away to charity.”

Not only did he donate all those items — says he rented a building to hold all of the goods.

We love hearing about Santas in unexpected places and months. Well done, sir.

Winchester Businessman Donates $200K Worth Of Items To Clark County Charity []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Boiled for your sins says:

    Well done sir! Thank you for renewing some of my faith in people.

    • kaptainkk says:

      I just lost my faith in people by reading the comments from people like MonkeyMonk and Tuxman below. Couple of douchebags and I’m sure there will be plenty more to follow!

      • RickN says:

        I agree. Nobody ever does a good deed. It’s always an evil plot involving tax evasion, the Koch Brothers and “teabaggers”.

        I guess the meds don’t kick in until the afternoon for some folks.

        • BorkBorkBork says:

          I know. It’s really sad to see how gloomy some peoples lives are. Everybody’s out to get them, no good deed goes unpunished, it’s all some black or white political agenda.

          Cynicism sucks the life right out of you, apparently. Is it worth it to be able to say “I told you so” some of the time?

  2. gqcarrick says:

    Wow, that’s really great. What an awesome thing to do for people in his community.

  3. Cat says:

    Say what you want about Kmart, but I will miss them when they’re gone, just like I miss Ames and Big N.

    (Yes, I do expect both Sears and Kmart to go under some day).

    • AllanG54 says:

      “Some day” might be sooner than you think. Sears Holdings made their first profit in years only because they sold some closed stores.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I know the feeling. I feel the same way about Hills and Service Merchandise.

    • Misha says:

      I’ll miss them too, as the only consistent source I can find for the shoes I like to wear to work (Cobbie Cuddlers).

    • framitz says:

      I haven’t seen a Kmart in at least 10 years, don’t miss them at all.

    • redskull says:

      I very much miss Hills! They were the closest thing my hometown ever had to a Target.

      Both KMarts disappeared from my city 10 years or more ago. The closest one is in a small town about 25-30 miles away. I was over that way a couple of years ago, saw the Kmart and thought what the heck, and went in. I honest to God thought they weren’t open yet, and I’d got in by accident. I was literally the only customer in the entire place.

      • StarKillerX says:

        I liked Hills also, although the only store I really truely miss is Brand Names, I loved finding what I wanted in the catalog and being able to walk in the store, fill out a slip and have the item brought to me at the counter.

      • Dyscord says:

        Hills was awesome. I remember going there all the time because they had a sega genesis demo unit.

    • gman863 says:

      I actually miss the tackier stores.

      Hills was ho-hum. My favorite was Zayre: 30 years out of date, but they had great sale prices on everyday items like paper products and cleaning supplies. They also had more versions of the Michael Jackson “Thriller” knockoff jacket than all other stores in town combined.

      Props to the other fallen discounters I’ve shopped at as well: Ames, Tops, J.M. Fields, The Treasury (JC Penny), Jefferson Ward, Woolco, King’s and last (but not least) Two Guys.

    • Corinthos says:

      I miss they closed my kmart. They have pretty decent videogame deals. Nearest one too me is in a smaller town over an hour away.

    • wryknow says:

      I miss Bradlee’s :(

    • Kuri says:

      They get some pretty cool Halloween decorations[I kinda collect such items] So I may miss them too.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    I wonder if he could have bought the items cheaper at Walmart?

  5. MonkeyMonk says:

    The guy was probably just doing this as a means of using the charity loophole to avoiding paying his fair share of taxes! The same shady tactic that all those diligent Teabaggers pointed out that Obama exploited just last year.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I think you forgot your /s tag there.

      In the event that you were being serious: I bet you’re a riot at parties.

      • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

        When you use phrases like “diligent Teabaggers”, the /s is implicit.

        Seriously, it’s in the WaPo style guide. Go look it up.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      you know he probably payed sales tax on those items right? also, you can only deduct so much in taxes for charitible contributions.

      But yeah I’m pissed that a bunch of needy people will get clothes because some dirtbag tax evader!

    • rlmiller007 says:

      Well, when you are standing in line to get some of this free stuff (because you’re an unemployed looser, socialist, who only has his hand out for what someone rlse will give you) you can ask him. Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t to get to “Wrtite off” much of this on his takes.

    • rlmiller007 says:

      Well, when you are standing in line to get some of this free stuff (because you’re an unemployed looser, socialist, who only has his hand out for what someone else will give you) you can ask him. Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t to get to “Wrtite off” much of this on his takes.

  6. TuxMan says:

    Hope you used your “Shop your way rewards card”.

    Really? $200K at KMart? Dumbest man alive.

    Sure it’s your money. But $200k worth of land would have been even better. Offer a way to build shelter. Offer a way to gather clean water. Offer a way to grow food. Just like God did for us so long ago before our land was taken away from us.

    Buying out a KMart? Not the smartest way to donate to charity. But I feels so good! Pat me on the back!

    • Misha says:

      I’m assuming $200k was the retail value, not what he actually paid, since everything was discounted.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      What is wrong with you?

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      It’s not like he bought the inventory from a Best Buy and donated it to charity. K-Mart sells stuff that everyone needs.

      • wildgift says:


        New clothing will have an impact on people in need, especially when they are looking for work.

    • SabreDC says:

      How much did you donate to charity this week?

    • That guy. says:

      1) While there are a variety of ways to give to charity, such as (like you said) giving to programs that provide clean water, or land on which to farm, etc., that isn’t pratical in all areas. If you are talking about a city environment, clean clothes is more of an issue than clean water.

      2) When giving to a charity, some of that money goes towards overhead. Transportation and distribution of goods and such. It was a smart move for this guy to just buy the items and distribute them himself, cutting out the middle man. His money goes further, providing more for those in need.

      • MerlynNY says:

        Really? The guy had a random, on the spot idea to do a great deal of good for a bunch of people that he will likely never know or meet who are on hard times, and you’re going to say how he could have done it better?

        Here, let me tell you how you could have written your post better. Don’t make stupid posts.

      • sp4rxx says:

        Excellent form – trolling at its best. You definitely win the award for that.

        Oh, you were serious? Well let me break it down for you:

        $200,000 is great for land …. except you are going to donate an empty lot to the homeless and needy? What are they going to do with it? It would cost more to build, renovate and zone than what this guy did.

        Hats off to this unselfish individual. I wish I had the dough to give out like that.

        • sp4rxx says:

          sorry … this was meant for tuxman or whatever … the website put my response under the wrong person….

    • framitz says:

      So, what have you contributed to our society lately?

    • syxx says:

      next time you donate 200,000 dollars let us know what you do with it

    • Yorick says:

      Food, clothing and shelter are the three things a person really needs. Needy people usually can manage shelter somehow, it’s the food and clothing that are more difficult. This man is taking care of at least one of those for his neighbors (“and supplies” is noted, so he’s likely doing more).

      Unless the closing store’s leftover contents were going to be donated anyway (and not shipped to another store), he’s done something good. Since you’re criticizing a good deed, what have you done lately? Where’s your plot of land you’re donating to the needy?

    • drjayphd says:

      Ah, THERE’S that good old-fashioned Consumerist fault-finding in good deeds. I thought none of the commenters could top bashing that guy who bought a car, using cash, by saving his change, but Consumerist commenters never fail to surprise me.

  7. Buckus says:

    If the government isn’t going to help the less fortunate, it’s nice to hear about somebody who will. I bet that Billionaire trying to sink Obama with a Super-PAC never donated $200,000 worth of anything to anyone.

    • StarKillerX says:

      “If the government isn’t going to help the less fortunate…”

      You mean besides redistribute 100’s of billions of tax dollars to programs every year to help the “less fortunate?”

    • wildgift says:

      The government helps poor people. That’s one reason why it exists.

  8. AllanG54 says:

    I think this is great. I just hope that the people who do the distribution of these things don’t take the really good items for themselves.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Well considering they were bought near the end of a K-Mart close out sale I’d be more curious if anything good was even left?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        see, i was just going to say “considering they were bought at a KMart, was any of it any good at all?”

  9. dpeters11 says:

    Wow, even in a story like this, people find a way to “blame the OP”.

    • winstonthorne says:

      Welcome to the internet. “Mostly harmless.”

    • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

      No. Not ‘people’. Assholes are only a portion of a real person, and thus don’t qualify for a full ‘people’ tag.

    • runswithscissors says:

      The General Theory of Internet Contrarians.

      Basically, EVERY story, comment, article, or happening discussed on the internet WILL have at least one contrarian go against the crowd on it.

      Why? Because being “contrary” does 2 things:
      1) it gets them noticed (and negative attention is better than no attention to them)
      2) it makes them feel smarter than everyone else. “You sheep think this guy was nice but only I – the smart one – can see his folly”.

      You’ll see it everywhere, including every article on here. Check out the Safeway story a couple pages back: there are 3-4 contrarians blaming the clerk who saved the pregnant lady! There was even one person who BLAMED THE PREGNANT LADY FOR BEING BEATEN.

      Internet contrarians. Attention seeking + feeling smarter than the “sheeple”.

  10. tlf0803 says:

    Wow. This is amazing. I’m speechless by his generosity. What a great act of service.

  11. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    Tax Writeoff + Publicity = Winning.

  12. flyingember says:

    The key point I like is no one made him. That’s the problem most people have with the 1%, not that there’s any fundamental “should” involved but the idea that so many people with money they don’t even choose to help out others at all who have the ability to. You have people like the Koch brothers instead thumbing their nose at people.

    What people would like to see is more people with hundreds of millions to billions say, “I don’t need all this money, I’ll give away part of my fortune to help fund a group of my choice in a way I choose and still keep enough to live a lavish lifestyle few can dream of.”

    If there were a number of noteworthy situations where this happens from wall street bankers you would see the Occupy movement die quickly. Few people look down at luxury. They do look down at greed.

  13. scoobydoo says:

    Sad fact: a KMart full of merchandise is only worth 200K.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      lol, no. The store was closing, they were having a clearance sale. So 1. stuff was cheaper than normal, and 2. much of it was probably already gone.

      The inventory of a Kmart is in the millions. I worked at a convenience store about a decade ago, and our inventory was around $50-60k – that’s for a very small space filled with very inexpensive items.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Yeah, but I have to wonder about what all was bought and donated.

        For some reason this story reminds me of a story I saw recently about a charity that supposedly was formed to help disabled veterans and despite raising over fifty million dollars no cash has gone to any veterans or veterans groups, although they did make donate items to a few but it’s always things like 2,600 bags of cough drops, 2,200 small bottles of hand sanitizer and 12k bags of coconut M&Ms.

  14. RobinB says:

    Our news said only 20K, not 200K? Either way, good for him!

  15. clippy2.1 says:

    That cashier better get some press too, that’s one hell of an upsell.

    “Hello sir, I see you’re buying some batteries. Would you like an extended warranty? No? Well how about buying the whole store?”

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Yes, if for no other reason than to act as a big public resume to get this stellar salesman/woman a better job. He/She deserves it!

  16. marc6065 says:

    YUUUUP big tax write off. He buys the stuff for pennies on the dollar and then donates it and I believe he can then deduct the full retail value off his taxes. So if he spent 5cents on the dollar for $200k he can then deduct $4 mil as a donation to charity. Kind of Bill Clinton deducting $6 per pair of his used underwears donated to charity.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Generally, no, he can only deduct what he paid for it.

      • shepd says:

        You ruined my plan of extreme couponing for profit (or at least zero taxes).

        Maybe if I buy the stuff in a foreign country nobody will know? :D

    • deejmer says:

      Well, you know, the alternative to him doing this was that he either:
      – Did none of this by keeping his money, helping no one (unless you think the gov’t through taxing him at a likely 15% rate, would take distribute that money in a more effective way)
      – Provide straight funds to another charity of his choice, where you’d still be able to make the same argument.

      Guess it’s time to fix the tax code huh? Then we see where the REAL sweethearts are…in the meantime, at least he’s helping people out instead of using the ~$165K after-tax, buying yet another yacht in the French Riviera.

  17. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Very nice! A lot of things people need at Kmart like sundries, towels, dishes, etc. can be donated by the county to people who have lost their homes in fires or other disasters. Or they can be sold and the money used for programs to help people. There is a charity like that here. I always donate to them because they are very hands-on.

  18. gman863 says:

    This was a nice gesture; however my gut instinct tells me he could have bought just as much stuff at Walmart or Ross for $50,000 less.

  19. CrazyEyed says:

    From what I saw yesteday, I heard it was only $20,000 not $200,000. There’s a big difference. Kudos to him either way.

  20. Jules Noctambule says:

    If there isn’t a heaven, they should build one for this guy and people like him.

  21. StarKillerX says:

    For some reason this story reminds me of a story I saw on CNN recently about a charity that supposedly was formed to help disabled veterans and despite raising over fifty million dollars no cash has gone to any veterans or veterans groups, although they did make donate items to a few but it’s always things like 2,600 bags of cough drops, 2,200 small bottles of hand sanitizer and 12k bags of coconut M&Ms.

    Hopefully this isn’t the same sort of deal, I mean who needs 300 cheap bathmats, 1000 boxes of lime jello or 2000 pine tree shaped air fresheners. lol!

    • Kuri says:

      Well, the bathmats can prevent injury by making sure people don’t slip on tile floors, the jello, well, even the less fortunate deserve a nice dessert every so often….

      sorry, just trying to think of reasons people might need some of this stuff.

  22. PLATTWORX says:

    I don’t blame the OP, but unless Kmart gave him all of that merchandise AT COST that means they pocketed a decent profit on that $200,000 he spent and a good amount of it went into their pockets.

    NOW, Kmart needs to turn over the $200,000 that came throught those registers to a local charity. At the moment, he has $200,000 worth of ITEMS to give away and Kmart is richer because he paid them for the items.. which I assure you they did not sell for less than they paid.

  23. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    In related news, police last night reported a massive burglary at large warehouse holding goods destined to be donated to charity.

  24. Kuri says:

    Only downside I see is that, since the store was closing, bargain hunters hovering like buzzards likely picked away all the really good stuff.

  25. Broke_Daddy says:

    The news reports are that he paid about $20K for the goods, not $200K.

  26. Press1forDialTone says:

    Automatic dinner with the President, Michele and the girls.
    1st class transportation to and from Washington and
    1st class hotel stay.

    Charge it to the taxpayers. No problem here.

  27. quirkyrachel says:

    @#$^% 1%. They use their money for the worst things.


    Well done, sir. Well played.

  28. MarkFL says:

    Having worked for a company that does inventories, I can testify to a few things:

    1) The retail value of the merchandise was much more than $200K. Depending on how far along the liquidation was, it was discount somewhere between 20 and 80%.

    2) To answer the question of the man who donated the goods (What happens to the remaining stuff?), in cases like this there is usually an inventory before the sale in which a liquidator buys up all of the merchandise at a set percentage upfront. Often, the liquidator also effectively manages the store during the sale, setting the policies, etc. If there is merchandise left over at the end, the liquidator resells this to deep discounters, such as Big Lots or various dollar stores. I recall one situation where we did a closing inventory at a store where there was such a discount store in the same plaza, and we were speculating on whether they would just put the unsold merchandise on to handcarts and wheel it across the parking lot. (No, I don’t know if they actually did this.)

    My mom wondered if the purchase of all remaining items meant that the store closed sooner, but from the amount he spent, I’m guessing they were near the end of the sale anyway. But I was hoping he hired the laid-off employees to move the merchandise to storage.

  29. MarkFL says:

    Why is it that when somebody does something good for someone else, they are denounced as either socialists, publicity hounds, or somehow connected to a supposedly America-hating president, while people who use tax loopholes to enrich themselves are praised as capitalists and “job creators,” even if they just laid off a few thousand people while handing themselves a huge bonus?

    It is not the deficit that will ruin this country, or terrorists, or any imaginary conspiracies of either the right or the left. It’s the spreading philosophy of greed and selfishness that will do us in.