Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lorain, Ohio Kmart Supercenter

By; Nicholas Eckhart
This Picture was taken 11-8-11 by me. This is a very nice store. The American Flag looks grand flying over the store, that is something you can not find at Walmart.

Address- 5350 Leavitt Road Lorain, Ohio.
Phone Number- (440) 282-3015
Opened- October 27, 1993 as the 12th Super Kmart Center ever opened.
Size-  200,000 square feet.
Facts- This store was a very innovative store when it opened. It combined all of Kmart’s prototypes Like an Auto Center, a Food Court, a Bank, an Image Center, a Florist, and a Video Center. Many of those and other features were first found in the Lorain, Ohio Super Kmart Center, then set the standards of look, design, and services of Super Kmarts today. Some older Super Kmart Centers were expanded to include these services and features. This store was at the time the largest Super Kmart Center. This was the first store to look like many Super Kmarts found today and ones that are now closed. These features helped launch the Super Kmart Center chain and make it very successful until Kmart’s bankruptcy. The Lorain Super Kmart Center also replaced the nearby Amherst Kmart store. The store has since closed it’s Video Center, Auto Center, Food Court, and more recently it’s Florist. This supercenter has two seasonal sections, one that currently has Halloween items and one with Christmas Items. A Walmart Supercenter opened nearby in 2010 prompting Kmart to compete with them. Some updates recently are a Little Caesar’s pizza in the old Florist, a large section of parking lot repaved, new Restrooms, better Customer Service, a hiring desk, Blue Light savings, Remodeled Grocery section, new carts, a dollar shop in the old Kmart CafĂ©, and more modern signage. At first nearly everyone left this store for Walmart, but they seem to be returning after they found out this Walmart is cramped, dirty, has bad Customer Service, and has not made much of a positive impact on the area. Some area customers are loyal to Kmart and won’t even consider Walmart. In the early 2000s Walmart wanted a store in Lorain, but the community banned a Walmart from opening in the city’s limits. Walmart found a way around that by finding a site in 2010 that technically was not in Lorain, but very close to Kmart. Walmart was originally going to open another Walmart Supercenter in Elyria, but scrapped these plans when they found the Lorain site. Walmart still owns the site in Elyria and the city wants improvements done to the site (demolishing buildings). Well, back to the Super Kmart it seems to be doing better since reputations of Walmart and Target are falling. Some updates to the exterior and the stores space management need to be done. Some of those updates needed are Updated signage, expanded Electronics, more space used in the front of the store, a better stocking system, and a fixed roof. I am sorry, but on my visit there recently there was a lot of people in the store and I did not take any pictures. I do not feel that comfortable taking pictures in stores. Overall I would give this store a four out of five star rating. This store has the best employees and service, but lacks all necessary updates. 


The empty seasonal section near the front of the store. 
The former entrance to the Kmart Auto Center. The store did not start closing it until recently, so I did not get a peak inside. 
The former Kmart Cafe area. There are some Dollar shop items to the left  side of the shot, magazines behind them, and the employee break area against the window. 
The exterior at night. Notice how dead the store is at this time. The main store sign is very faded, since it has been on the store for almost 20 years. Sorry about the blurriness, I will try to get a better shots of the exterior and interior next time. 


 The Storefront at night.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So this location has an old empty K Cafe, but a new Little Caesars in another spot? That's definitely unique.

  3. The old Kmart Cafe was closed down around the time that Kmart declared Bankruptcy. That area sat empty for years with signage and all tables intact. In 2010 the Little Caesar's opened in the store's old Florist; the signage and most tables in the old Kmart Cafe were torn out. Now there is a dollar shop and a magazine/ book sale area there. A few tables and some K Cafe signage along the window are still present. The Little Caesars has only I think 12 chairs at three or four tables.

  4. Interesting, I wonder why they didn't just put the Little Caesars in the old K Cafe spot, seems like that would've made more sense.

  5. I guess they did not want their florist anymore and wanted to draw people into taking pizzas home. The K Cafe still has the food service equipment intact there, but is further from the exit. Most of the people getting the pizzas don't really show an interest into eating it there; they typically pick one up after they checkout and are on their way out the store. In that retrospect it is a good site, but the K cafe still needs some occupancy and has a larger dining space.

  6. I'm also surprised they took out the florist, especially since this location is still a Super K. The Rome, GA Super K that I've featured on my site that was downsized to a Big K still has the floral department from when it was a Super K.

  7. There are several thigs about this store that is odd. It was built as a prototype and was the first Super Kmart to have an Auto Center, a photo studio, and a huge Kmart Cafe with many different varieties of food. It also is currently the largest Super Kmart. The Auto Center closed sometime in the past five years, the Kmart cafe has been closed for a very long time. The florist section had its own employee running it, but they did put a smaller one by the greeting cards that does not have an attendant. They also have a bait and tackle section in the sporting goods section that also sells guns, that still has its own attendant, but does not seem busy. Also, they have one of the only still open Super Kmart Seafood department. Most of the seafood sections were made so an attendant does not have to work there (prepackaged) or closed down, but this one here is still open with full service. I was in there early this year and they were sold out of all their seafood products. The store has 19 checkouts; recently I saw about 12 open at the same time and they all had a line.

  8. If I am lucky I might make it out to the Fremont, Ohio Kmart later today. That store was a Super Kmart, but lost its groceries in 2011. The Super Kmart Blog has a post on that store from before it was downgraded. Another thing about the Lorain store is that I believe the portrait studio was the second to open at a Kmart. I don't have a good shot of the sign for that, but it is partly visible through the registers in the 5th picture from the bottom.

  9. The interior of the K-Mart in Brooklyn is very similar to this one in Lorain. The cafe was taken out when K-Mart was struggling to stay afloat and many of its tables were replaced with dollar items and magazines. Some tables however, remain and are very out of place as they sit next to the bathrooms. There is still a soda fountain in this store but no quick food to accompany it which is strange. In Middleburg Heights, the cafe' was taken out completely some years back and is now the baby section.

  10. All Walmart stores do have an American flag above them !

  11. I worked in that store as they were building it back in 1993. I was in aw at how beautiful it was. I worked as a front end supervisor. We had everything in that store when it opened, Auto service center, Image center(1 hour photo etc.), hair salon ,bank, Glamour shots, video store, florist, bakery kiosk, salad bar kiosk, international food court with 4 or 5 different kinds of food countries represented, fresh seafood and meat section. 30 checkouts. It was a grand store. since then everything inside of it has closed. I hope this store lasts a long time, just learned the closest Super K in Brookpark is closing!