Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sears Grand to Kmart Conversion in Westlake, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

Closing April, 2014

     This Kmart was expanded in the early 1990s and was changed to the Big Kmart concept in the late 1990s. As a test trial, Sears Holdings changed this store to the Sears Grand concept in 2005.

     Unlike the few stores that were built from the ground up as Sears Grand, this store was a poorly converted Kmart. This Sears Grand store did not seem to have any sales or food and did have kind of a horrible smell. As Sears Grand, business picked up for a while because of the new name on the store, but then shrunk to be less than when the store was Kmart. It was soon evident that Sears Holdings Company (SHC) made a mistake when they converted this store to Sears Grand.

     In late 2011, SHC decided that the store would be changed back to Kmart. The Sears Grand started to clear out its merchandise in December of 2011.The sale went on through February 19th 2012 (when the store closed for the harder part of the remodel). My photos from when the store was still Sear Grand were taken in early February.

     On March 2nd, 2012 this store was reopened as Kmart (a day after Kmart's 50th anniversary). The store celebrated its Grand Opening on March 10th. This "new" Kmart offers and lacks some features that typical Kmart stores offer. This store has two fitting room areas instead of the traditional one (sorry, I did not get photos of this), but lacks a Pharmacy. This store features somewhat of a more upscale look than other Kmart stores. The store features a larger pantry section than most Kmart stores and has all new shelves. I have photos taken after the store was reopened as well (below).

      This store is located at 30010 Detroit Road in Westlake, Ohio. This store is located in the Bay Plaza shopping center (also home to Marc's and Pet Supplies Plus). The Kmart is located across the street from two large shopping centers and is very close to Interstate 90. The other shopping center are the Promenade (anchored by Giant Eagle) and Crocker Park (newer style higher class shopping center built to resemble the downtown area of a city).

Store as a Big Kmart from Bing Maps
The store as Sears Grand, Notice the decline in cars. Bing Maps
Here is a setup of the area that I made with Bing Maps imagery.

Here are the pictures I took of this store.

The Following Photos are from my 3-3-12 visit to this store.
The exterior of this store, it does not have a similar look on the exterior as other Kmart stores. This store was built to resemble the design of the shopping center it is in.

The Garden Center, an Interstate 90 off ramp is in the background.

The Milk for sale and some of the pantry section.

A blurry photo of the price scanner. It is clear that this was taken from a different store since it has the old Big Kmart and Super Kmart logos on it.

The Electronics Section of this Kmart. This electronics section is the best one I have found at a Kmart. At other Kmart stores I have been in the Electronics sections are very closed off, but here it actually seems like part of the store.

A look towards the back of the store

The sign above the pole says price scanner, but there was a  phone on this pole at the time of my visit.

Another view of the same pole.

A nicer shoe department than others found in Kmart stores.

A look towards the Layaway and the Restrooms.

The seasonal section

More of the seasonal section

An aisle that was partially stocked during my visit.

Notice the call for service sign. I looked around for a phone, but could not find one.

One of the Electrical / Fiber Optics boxes, is it just me or is this  a real eyesore.

An aisle looking towards the larger than average Kmart pantry (it still only had three refrigerators). The large vent in the ceiling and the exposed lighting kind of bring down the effect of the remodel.

Pantry section

Two of the store's three refrigerators.

The pantry section

The unfinished Garden Center

The full expanse of the seasonal section

The Home Improvement section

Sporting Goods and Exercise equipment. Notice the bikes blocking the aisle, that does not seem well thought out. 

A closer look at the aisle blocking bikes

An emergency exit. I cannot believe they did not removed the old sign before putting the new one up.

Sporting Goods

Back aisle of the store

Restrooms and Layaway

Part of the Home section

In the Clothing section; looking towards the back of the store.

In the clothing section; looking towards the front entrance of the store.

  • The following photos are from my 2-6-12 visit to the store (while it was still Sears Grand).
Where the shoes were located during the remodel (this is now Health and Beauty).

The Main Entrance

Nothing is for sell on the other side of this curtain

A view of some new aisles.

A Sears Grand cart

New shelves waiting to be assembled. The Garden Center entrance is in the background.

Unfinished Pantry section

Looking towards the closed of section of the store.


  1. This Kmart does not look too much different from the 1990's style Big Kmart stores. I like the new signs, but some new wall and floor colors could have really upgraded this store. I am a big fan of the Green Kmart stores and I would like to see more conversions to that style even though I know they have moved on to this design. We have to drive over an hour to get to our closest Kmart since they left Houston, but I dislike shopping at Walmart because of the long lines and issues with keeping their products stocked. I prefer Kmart, Sears and Target for shopping but Kmart left H-town in 2003.

  2. The store on the outside looks nice as a Sears Grand, not dumpy like some of the other remodels. Im enjoying the "new" kmart stores, as when they install everything new, it doesnt look outdated and in a time warp.

  3. The former Kmart located at 1935 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC has a similar exterior look to this store. That store opened sometime in the late 1990's and closed in 2002 after a relatively short run as Kmart. It's since been subdivided into a few other stores. The front of the Ross store is the old Kmart entrance, which is very similar to the entrance of this store.

  4. The conversion of this store definitely looks similar to the conversion of the Sears that I featured in Marietta. I guess that is the look Kmart is going forward with for their most currently remodeled stores. I think its a definite upgrade from the fairly cheap orange and brown remodels they've done the past few years.

  5. It does look nicer. I don't think I ever saw an orange and brown remodel, do you have a post on one? Kmart is remodeling other stores close to me into a similar look. The Loarin Super Kmart has had its inside repainted, checkouts modernized, a little Caesar's added, the grocery section remodeled, and it appears new interior signage will be placed throughout the store soon. I have pictures of this, but I have not added them onto my post on the store yet.

  6. As far as the IDF cabinet, "Electrical / Fiber Optic" as you called it, was a design that Kmart had in all of their stores. During the planning stage of these stores they decided to keep with it for the Sears Grand. I don't know what that black shelf is but it wasn't there when I installed the network. That cabinet is much bigger than the original that was there for Kmart and was a pain to install. I worked on the Solon, OH store, four in Florida, and three in Mobile, Al. Out of all the stores I worked on, only one was I able to hide the cabinets in back stockrooms and offices. The idea is to have the network lines as closed to the end users but still looked like crap.

  7. The exterior was given the fancy new sign area when the entire plaza was renovated in the late '90s or early 2000's. Up until then, it had either the original angled sign area or the flat rectangle/semicircle "new Kmart" sign area. Also, when the Auto Service center closed, Kmart walled over the bay doors and expanded into that section. Because of this expansion, there was a hallway that would connect the store to the Garden Center. I always thought it was neat to walk through someplace that I didn't think I should be - there was some kind of 'Employees Only' office there back then - but it was never closed off. Also, I think Layaway was moved over from where it used to be before it was a Sears. I'm 80% certain that Layaway used to be where that weird back room is now. Electronics used to be in front of that hallway that leads back to Layaway in the original floor plan, was moved up front when it was a Sears Grand, and was relocated to the front-center when it reopened as a Kmart.

    I don't think this Kmart ever had a Pharmacy in it. I do remember there being some plaza space that connected it to Charter One in the beginning, which was demolished when the plaza makeover happened, allowing for that additional parking area to be added.

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  9. Better check it out fast now. This store is scheduled to be closed.

  10. Big clearance going now. They'll be closed soon.

    1. Thanks. I have been watching the closing sale and I will add the pictures to this post or create another post once the store closes.

  11. Here is a clear picture of the Kmart before it was converted to Sears Grand.


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