Iconic as one of the early 2000s’ hallmark department stores, K-Mart has seen nearly all of its locations nationally close. Now, heading into the holiday season, K-Mart possesses only 6 remaining open stores. The last in its home state of Michigan officially closed ahead of 2022.
According to Yahoo! news, MI’s final K-Mart closed on Sunday, November 21. Since last year, the Battle Creek, Michigan location remained the last open of the retail chain in the state. However, now, as Battle Creek lies home to a minimal population of little more than 7,000, the outlet states locals are concerned about how residents without transportation will get their shopping done.
Until its closure, the MI K-Mart was the only “national big-box retailer” in the suburban area. It’s possible that the fact potentially allowed it to remain open as long as it did.
A Historic Exploration of K-Mart
Now, only six K-Marts remain functional across the nation. As such, the news outlet provided Outsiders a little timeline of the department store. Now, we can see how it went from early success to contemporary downfall.
Before Americans knew K-Mart by its popular name, the national chain began as S.S. Kresge, the first opening way back in Detroit in 1899, where items cost only five to 10 cents. 1912 saw the chain’s mastermind, Sebastian Spering Kresge, owning an impressive 85 stores. The chain continued to thrive through the nation’s hardships, even during the Great Depression.
K-Mart spurred from here in 1962 as the first store opened, followed by 17 more that same year. Decades later, the 90’s saw K-Mart distributing everything from food items to home goods. The advent of the Internet allowed the department store to expand its base online in 1999.
Soon enough, though, 2000 saw K-Mart closing 72 brick-and-mortar stores. The turn of the century resulted in Target and Walmart both surpassing the department store in sales. In 2004, the iconic chain merged with Sears, though as we well know, both companies eventually filed for bankruptcy. yahoo!news states K-Mart closed its original location several years ago in 2017.
The fact marks the end of an era for many millennials, in addition to previous generations. Contemporarily, Sears and K-Mart both have neared their end. Meanwhile, other brands and chains across the nation are beginning to close their doors as well.
CVS Plans to Close Hundreds of Locations In the Coming Years
Another of America’s iconic chain stores, CVS Health has recently announced its plan to close hundreds of physical stores across the nation within the next three years. While, unlike Sears and K-Mart, the company has not filed for bankruptcy, the brand has seen a drop in the need for so many physical locations, leading to a loss in profit nationally.
In total, the chain plans to close about 300 stores per year, later accounting for about 10% of our country’s physical locations. In this way, Outsiders across the U.S. have begun to worry that their most convenient locations will soon be shuttered.
The store’s coming closures primarily result as online shopping has thrived in modern society. The fact is especially true following the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic and stores have begun to adapt pandemic-era methods for consumer convenience, even among improved conditions.