Friday, November 4, 2011

Former Elyria, Ohio Super Kmart

By; Nicholas Eckhart



Location- 5211 Cobblestone Road, Elyria, Ohio
Opened- Early 2001.
Closed-2003
Story- This store replaced the very small, but busy Kmart by the Midway Mall.  It was modern and included a better than average seasonal section, Garden Center, Grocery selection, Pharmacy, Clothing, and employees. This was the second Supercenter to open in Lorain county, the first being the Super Kmart in Lorain.

The left side (Grocery side) is operated as Bargain Warehouse and the right side (Garden Center and Seasonal) is operated as Litehouse pools. The back of the store is used as Bargain Warehouse's storage area (Clothing, Electronics, Pharmacy, and Home).

Photo Gallery

10-7-13
Former Cafe space

Looking towards back dairy wall and the pharmacy

The back dairy wall

The Pharmacy

Price Scanner sign left behind

Overview of the former grocery department

Health and Beauty signage remaining

Former Produce area

Grocery entrance

Customer Service

Apparel

Former Olan Mills

Reused Kmart checkouts

Former Wireless Amazing!



Front of store



4-8-12
Left of the Left entrance; the small door was a security entrance. 


A look at the store's exterior

The Bargain Warehouse entrance (former grocery entrance)

The area where the "Super Kmart" signage used to be

A look towards the former department side entrance and the former garden center

Litehouse pools and spas entrance (former department side entrance.

Notice that the doors are all automatic and there is a smaller cart door. That is a design element not found in older Super Kmart/ Kmart stores.
The window were installed after Super Kmart closed.

The former garden center entrance
The former Garden Center

The former Garden Center

The former Garden Center

A former Super Kmart label-scar

An emergency exit on the back of the store

An emergency exit on the back of the store

The receiving area for Bargain Warehouse; part of Sam's Club can be seen in the background.

The Sam's Club next door that is often credited with this store's demise



1-7-12
A view of the Bargain Warehouse entrance 



The former produce refrigerators, now filled with novelty items.  


A former employee entrance to the Seafood section, now blocked by a shelf.  


A better view 


Looking towards Bargain Warehouse's storage area (dimmed lights), formerly part of the  Super Kmart store.   

A view towards the old Dairy section, the refrigerators there were removed. 

A view towards the old Deli and small dining area, restrooms are also in this area, but now are closed off to the public. The hanging lighting is above the position where refrigerators used to sit.   

Looking towards the former Pharmacy the blurred sign says "SAVE MONEY...FEEL BETTER", the small blue sign on the pole by the Pharmacy says "Price Scanner". There is also a hanging blue sign towards the right, but I do not know what it was used for. To the very right there is a balloon basket hanging from the ceiling.  

The apparel section, the wall in the background divides Bargain Warehouse and Litehouse Pools.   


Kmart Battery Center shelving 


A view into the Bargain Warehouse storage area. The Super Kmart signage in the back lists some health and beauty brands, since Health and Beauty was located to the right of the Pharmacy.  

Apparel Section 

Some Christmas items for sale in the area of Super Kmart's former checkout area. NOTE: checkouts 9 and 10 were moved closer to the store entrance. 1-7-12

11-18-11

This image was taken from Steak N' Shake's parking lot (where the other image is from). This site gave me a good vantage point of Sam's and the former Super Kmart. Look at how many cars are in Sam's parking lot compared to Bargain Warehouse or Litehouse Pools and Spas. All three stores picture above were open at the time I took this picture, although when looking at this image it looks like only Sam's is open. I think both Bargain Warehouse's and Litehouse's days are numbered.
11-4-11
The former Super Kmart in Elyria, Ohio NOTE; the Sam's in the Background opened right before This Super Kmart closed and look at how small this Supercenter's parking lot was.  This was the one of the last Super Kmart stores built from the ground up.





16 comments:

  1. Depressing....this store used to be so clean and nice to go into. The blue sign on the celing in the one photo used to hold a roatating light that was used for blue light specials.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are still two bluelight special kiosks sitting inside Bargain Warehouse. I did not get photos of them yet.

      Delete
    2. I was just in Bargain Warehouse last week I think they are going to close. Go check it out, alot of things only $1.

      Yesterday I drove to Midway Mall to get an ink cartridge and Officemax closed up. When did that happen?! I guess I need to get out more often.

      Oh, actually, Cobblestone and Bargain is in Sheffield Village, not Elyria.

      PS- I want to try dumpster diving, especially for food. Anyone want to try this? Or which city cops don't mind if they see us dive and won't do anything?

      Delete
  2. Although the mailing address is Elyria, it is actually located in Sheffield Village. (As is the entire Cobblestone Square Shopping Complex). I think the Super-K was only open for about a year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Kmart claimed that this store had poor sales. It was only open for two years. When it opened, the location by Midway Mall (now Marc's/Bed Bath & Beyond/Family Christian Stores) was liquidated and closed.

      Litehouse was the first thing to open, with Bargain Warehouse 'finally occupying' the food side after YEARS of it sitting empty. I think BW has had several different owners, none of which decided to spring for heat or running water. (Have you attempted to use those front restrooms?) Also, the back wall by the old Pharmacy has been run into/through by a forklift on more than one occasion, as there's a giant hole that now goes from floor to ceiling, displacing the old "Kmart vendor tile" decor that used to be there. BW is terminally running a "store closing - everything 50-80% off" sale. It's bound to close at some point, but if they're waiting to sell everything before they close, it could be YEARS before they finally lock the doors!

      Delete
    2. I was wondering where that hole in the back wall came from!I have a feeling Bargain Warehouse made that hole on purpose to get forklifts from the back room into their "storage area". Bargain Warehouse has ran and ended several liquidation sales. Also, it is true the store has changed hands numerous times. I saw merchandise piled to the ceiling the one time I was in Bargain Warehouse. The store has almost no organization anymore. When I was in there last time I could not find anything I was looking for, but found boxes full of very odd items with no price tags. I decided to check some of the food items and found many were expired by two or three years. I took a peak into the back room one time and saw that they kept the fridges from Super Kmart and took some carts from Sam's. Outside there is a Painted Super Kmart liquidation sign as well!

      Delete
    3. I still can't believe that the store is still open, considering the poor conditions inside. No heat, no running water... Unless there's some magical area of the store that the employees get to hang out in with all of the heat and running water, it needs to be shut down. They can't have ever been making money with that place, considering the probable cost of leasing the ENTIRE BUILDING for what little bit they actively use.

      My favorite item to this day? Leaking batteries, out for sale, with a sign that read "Even though some have leaked, MOST OF THEM ARE GOOD." I kid you not.

      Delete
    4. The primary reason this SuperK closed was because of the 2002 Kmart bankruptcy; I don't think Sam's Club being next door had anything to do with it, as they were different concepts and built around the same time. Back then, the SuperK was the only 24-hour "hypermarket" in the Elyria area. It's pretty amazing that it only lasted 2 years, then sat empty for so long.

      Before Litehouse moved in, I had gone to the trouble of emailing Meijer to suggest they take over the space, but they responded that they weren't interested in expanding this far east yet. I know the former mayor of Elyria, Bill Grace, had been trying to get Meijer to build at what is now the Walmart Supercenter at Chestnut Commons.

      Delete
  4. Stopped in there today, and saw that the current owner (I swear, different people own this 'business' every time I go in there, because SOMETHING'S different every time!) actually condensed the sales floor area by almost half! From where the apparel side goes back at that L corner, it only goes back now about halfway down from how it used to, and is cut off by a side-to-side rack. You can peek back inside and see that they might possibly be selling cabinet arcade titles at some point. Among the offerings might be Lethal Enforcers, Ikari Warriors, and Capcom Bowling. Also, if you need a bumper to a Ford truck or some rims, they have 'em right when you walk in!

    I guess car pieces/parts are going to be a better seller than 'exotic' furniture and flooring scraps?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bargain Warehouse needs to be out of there by the end of next month. You can see into the far reaches of the building. There's some wall art left from the old Electronics section near where the Litehouse wall begins, and that "new access door" they carved out of the back next to the Pharmacy has a visible staircase that goes up to... Somewhere. Also, the dairy cooler is STILL THERE! The back corner is open again, and you can see the old cooler doors behind some of the shelving. American Fare milk was going for $2.75 or so per gallon back in 2003 when the store closed.

    There's no way that they're going to sell everything that's in there, if they have to be out by the end of November. I'm just curious, though: Kmart seemed to just leave EVERYTHING behind when they closed up shop. Don't most retailers liquidate the shelving and fixtures, or send them to other stores? Kmart left the produce coolers, the dairy cooler, one of the meat coffins (it's now in the "back area" of Bargain Warehouse), some of the exhaust ductwork - they're selling an "exhaust hood" for $4000 right now, as part of the liquidation sale, and a lot of the old decorative wall art (that hot dog picture is still up from where the Deli Cafe was) when they left, as well as the words "Thank you for shopping Super Kmart" (the Super K bit was removed, likely when Bargain Warehouse moved in initially) by the entrance. "Wireless Amazing!" was still up, and quite a few of the "vendor" panels from that era of the wall art are still hanging up around the other side of the store.

    Whoever moves in next - perhaps a Good Cents Grocery & More, Giant Eagle's answer to Save-A-Lot? - will definitely need to take a power washer to the interior and give the exterior a fresh coat of paint before they move in. They'd be inheriting both sets of restrooms - the ones up front by Customer Service, and the back ones in the old Deli Cafe - but they'll need to be revamped/reactivated, as BWH never turned the water on. Of course, since they're selling someone's old kitchen - straight out of the '60s, as far as the appliances go - for $400, I'm not surprised.

    BTW, if you still want that car, it's there: A 1976 Honda Civic, labeled with "Make us an offer!", right in the entrance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to go inside this store and try to see as many relics from the Kmart as possible. I did get better pictures of the interior recently, so I guess I will add them to this post while I am thinking about it. I did see through the cracks that they had freezers piled up back there. I have been inside this store after Kmart left by way of the Halloween store. I literally did not have good internet access at home or a even camera then. All the signs on the walls in the store were up then except for the Super Kmart sign up front. In fact Kmart ONLY auctioned off the carts and either Kmart or the Halloween store took down signs that said Kmart. I do not think Kmart even took the signs out of the store since I noticed Bargain Warehouse using a big hand painted sign from Super Kmart's liquidation that even had the "Super Kmart" logo painted on it. I also saw Bargain Warehouse selling a box of nails that was leaking and was sealed part-ways with tape that had the Kmart logo on it. I saw Bargain Warehouse once had the old Kmart store office door open up in front of the old produce area. They had items sitting neatly on tables so thinking it was part of the store I walked inside; they were a little upset at me for going back there and I have not saw the door open to the office space since then.

      I wish I knew someone that could take me on a tour of the building but I do not. I have only been on the actual sales-floor. I wonder if that place will ever sell some old Kmart signs since I would quickly buy them up for my collection. I only live about a mile from this store so I try to stop in and look around every so often.

      I cannot imagine Giant Eagle putting a Good Cents in there but it would give each side of Cleveland at least one. It seems odd putting a Good Cents so close to a Giant Eagle but both the Brooklyn one and the new Parma one are very close to operating Giant Eagle stores. The Good Cents concept seems to me as more of a way to get market share from Marc's than it does to compete against Save a Lot. The site seems more fitting for a Market District in my opinion. To me the Market District concept seems to be a larger format one and appears to be a copy of Wegmans. Not only do I think Giant Eagle is copying that successful chain to pull customers from chains like Heinen's or Earth Fare but I think they are using it to try to keep Wegmans out of Ohio and the Pittsburgh area. Giant Eagle has to build a Market District eventually on the west side of Cleveland.

      I heard something is happening to the Giant Eagle in Sheffield. I am not sure if it is an expansion or a relocation all I know is that it is not closing. I notice that Dollar Tree and CVS also pulled out of the shopping center where Giant Eagle is. What ever happened to the plans for Homewood Suites off 1-90 and the Holiday Inn behind Sheetz?

      Menard's or Meijer could also be likely candidates for the Kmart site but I would not hold my breath on them since both said they were opening stores in Northeastern Ohio then cancelled their plans. Other than Meijer, Menard's, or Giant Eagle I could not see anyone else putting a store there.

      Delete
    2. Good Cents would be a good way to compete with Aldi. Why put a Market District there and, say, not in Avon Lake's old Tops store? Avon Lake seems upper-crust enough to support a Market District store, but could two functional Giant Eagle stores work within a couple of miles of each other?

      To go further, why not subdivide the place and turn it into a new OfficeMax / Office Depot (to replace the one in Elyria - that back corner would work nicely for a furniture/print services showroom) and another Five Below location? 5B can use the area by that smaller door, while OM/D could use the other major entrance and that back corner behind Litehouse.

      Menards and Meijer are both HUGE stores. Their buildings are at least the same size as the entire Super Kmart building, if not larger than that. You'd have to find a new home for Litehouse.

      As far as the Giant Eagle there goes, they'll likely expand over into the old CVS store - much like the Amherst one - and utilize the "Drugstore" concept, maybe putting in a D-T Pharmacy by walling in the doors of CVS. Dollar Tree moved out to expand into a larger store with the old Carpet & Tile Liquidators. I'm not sure why CVS ever left.

      Hotels there... I thought that little medical building was going to be a hotel, but no such luck. Where would they put the Homewood Suites? The only free space is Spitzer Dodge, and I doubt "automotive alley" would want a hotel sitting there in the middle of the action. You can't put a hotel behind Sheetz, because a lot of what's over there are houses in the Village Reserve development.

      Delete
  6. I was in there only twice. I'm not trying to hit a touchy area but I I wonder how many of the owners are citizens or their paperwork is in the process to become citizens??

    Not sure how that works, just look at the Dairy Marts and the 7-11's. Years ago I talked to someone that owned a little shop and he told me about some 7 year thing timewise he had to get the business to take off, so he didn't have to worry too much about sales.

    ReplyDelete
  7. According to this, Bargain Warehouse has closed, only to be replaced by "Dollar Bargain" which is a similar store described to be in a similar condition: http://amesfanclub.com/forum/index.php?topic=3636.0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is correct. I live close to this store and go past it almost every day. I don't get around to updating these posts as much as I would like to though.

      Bargain Warehouse didn't close exactly. Only the name and pricing was changed. The store changed its name to Dollar Bargain; which made sense when the price of everything in the store was marked down to a dollar. The whole store is now 89 cents. The owners also own two "Dollar Paradise" stores closer to Cleveland.

      Delete