Saturday, April 4, 2015

Kmart on Dunn Rd in Florrisant, MO - An employees look

Kmart (Former Venture) on Dunn Rd in Florissant, MO - An employees look from liquidation to closed forever

Written by: Alex Dunn & Mike Kalasnik
Published: April 3rd 2015

The sister store 3.5 miles apart from store 4304, store 9334 was a former Venture built in the early 70s, opened in 10/1998 as Kmart after Venture went out of business, looted in the Michael Brown riots in August 2014, and in September 2014 it was announced it would be closing December 7th 2014. Just as I lost my job at U.S. Bank on 9/23 the closure announcement was made the next day with liquidation beginning on 9/28 and was told at my store I could get 40 hours if I did my store and helped out at store 9334. Not only was I the only person from 4304 to go over and help, I got major overtime and looked forward to going over because I could get actual work done, escape the drama and bullshit at store 4304 and made friends with many folks over there especially their HR lead Karol who was at 4304 years ago and is close friends with Jan my HR manager and one of my favorite co-workers Miss Pat. But slowly I started getting 40 hours or more unintentionally at my store (too many hours with Apu fixing the CC server computer combined with the hot mess known as no money down layaway) and could not go over anymore except to get repack boxes for layaway on my way to work and pick up some bargains on my off time. Anyway here's a behind the scenes look at the final days of what I call the "second warehouse for Flower Valley"

May 2012 - Photo by Mike Kalasnik

August 2014 - After the looting in Ferguson/Florrisant

September 2014 - The store announces its liquidation

 Jewelry cases still missing its glass from the August riots

You can tell the sheer size of this Kmart sign. It was a Venture sign originally.

Now a look at the back offices and back stock rooms

 Main office

 Break room

When stores are closing (not just Kmart), they often receive other stores' discontinued and clearance merchandise to liquidate and it's a long tedious effort to ticket everything and make sure it's ticketed correctly, here's a pallet of toys from Crystal City

 Liquidators desk

TONS of merchandise to get to the floor!

One of the 4 highs inherited from the St Peters store that closed in 2002 during round one of bankruptcy

Working on a 4-Hi full of stationery, come get your whiteout and pencil boxes at 25% off!

Photos of the sales floor throughout October 2014

The last day of the pharmacy was Monday the 20th, patient records and any opened inventory were sent to 4304, unopened inventory got sent back to the supplier. I was pissed during no money down layaway when I found out the loft in the toy stockroom had a big fat padlock on it and became storage for pharmacy

November 2014 - Items are being moved around, shelving units being removed and deeper discounts are taken.

 LOADS of boxes to ticket and go through!!

 The things you find when you remove shelving units...

The old KCafe registers still in storage

What a menu selection!!

 Back to the sales floor...

 These are being sent to other Kmart stores

December 2014 - The sales floor is more bare as shoppers buy up more items

 This location would of sold groceries at some point, but the plans were tabled.

 The South City store is getting a majority of the fashion/softlines fixtures

 Naked Mannequins

Someone added this with a Sharpie!

The final two layaway contracts of store 9334

Imagine trying to match, pack and resell this stuff?

 Venture sign!!

Anyone know what this is?

 More Venture signs

 Former KCafe now the out of package tagging/supply room

I found on one of the desks in the office, store coupons from round 2 of bankruptcy in 2003!

 The last day....

 Yes VHS....

What didn't sell by the time the store closed for good

I believe Kmart employs good people. People who loved their job, who loved helping customers, and were loyal to the company. Alex shares some photos of those employees. No matter what anyone says about Kmart, you cant forget about these employes who are losing their jobs and place they loved to work at.

With the office lead Mary who's been in this building for 41 years since the Venture days!

Miss Cynthia doesn't want Kim in her final photo!

With Chad in hardlines that has become one of my favorite Dunn Rd people!

With the HR manager Karol aka Wilson that I've become great friends with

 Steve and Nathan the managers playing ball while Jason from LP walks by

Despite the store being closed, these guys are in good spirits

Walked out of the store one last time on December 7th 2014

December 13th 2014 - Logo is gone from the store & road sign

The good news in all this is most people got to move to other Kmart stores, and reclaim the job they loved so much. I am working at store 4304 in Florissant, MO and have been since August 2010. Stop by and say hi!