Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kmart Lancaster, SC

Kmart Lancaster, SC 1992-2012

Kmart in Lancaster, SC opened in late 1992, side by side with Winn Dixie. It started off its life as a regular Kmart with a Little Caesars Pizza. No Super Center expansion was ever put into play here. In 2000, it got a "Big K" remodel, consisting of adding a food section, as well as removing "older" sections and making way for newer items. Many sections got moved around during this time, such as Men's clothing and Jewelry. Lancaster got hit hard in 2003, where the Springs Plant, which once made sheets and pillows, etc... moved operations to South America. The town suffered and it hasnt been the same since. Its 30 minutes from Charlotte, and a 20 minute drive to the nearest highway, I-77. Mainly, the people who shop in Lancaster are the people who live here, and the tiny communities around it. This store survived the mass closings of the early 2000's, and then once again survived closings in 2010 and 2011. Rumors flew in the fall of 2012, when a store employee said the store would close its doors. The rumors were true, and the store began liquidating in October of 2012. The stores last day of operation was Dec 16th 2012. The plaza is now vacant except for the Arbys, which does good business and is newly remodeled. Below, you will see photos of this once great store. I had the opportunity to shop here many times in the past 3 years, and with sadness I had the opportunity to go into the store on December 19th 2012 one last time. I hope you enjoy these photos and I know I enjoyed this Kmart store. Please read the captions for more of this story.

Photos of the store pre liquidation:

Photos taken on November 4th 2012:


 Sporting Goods

 What was automotive & hardware


 Toys on the left

 Garden Shop

 Purses & Accessories

 Little Caesars

 Front End


 I hate seeing this

 Infants/Childrens on the left


 Furniture on the right

Below are photos from November 29th 2012:

 Little Caesars

 Children's/Infants would of been on the left
 Garden Shop


Below are photos from December 19th 2012:

 Kids/Children's Clothing
 Womens & Juniors Apparel
 Jewelry/Accessories and looking towards home furnishings
 Pantry area
 Back wall was Toys & Seasonal
 They removed the Big K the day after it closed. They dont fool around.

The photos below represent items found on the floor!

 Now we get to the good stuff. I obtained the original blueprints to the store! These show the store layout, square footage, placements for carts and baskets and much more. How many can say they have these to ANY Kmart store?!?!?

Original blueprint from 1992!!

Big K 2000 remodel

 Big K restrooms sign

 I forget exactly when Kmart started using these signs. I feel like it was early to mid 00's.

I had the chance to take the "Thank you for shopping at" letters down. I was in the store 3 weeks prior to it closing, and asked if they still had the Little Caesars sign. They didn't, but I asked if I could buy anything else. He noted I could buy the letters but I couldn't have the "Big K" sign due to it being trademarked. Sure enough, when I came back, it was already off the wall. I got all but 2 letters down without breaking them. The letters are a hard Styrofoam, not wood or plastic. They are held up with double stick tape. Little did I know, buying these letters would be my "in" to getting some amazing stuff!

 More interior photos below:
 Greeting Cards to the right, home decor to the left
 Women's Fashions (There would of been a checkout where I was standing)
 Women's fashions in the forefront. Kids/Infants along the wall. (There would of been a checkout where I was standing)

 Letters are removed now
 Little Caesars. Original to the store.
 Olan Mills (not original)
 Fitting Rooms
 Electronics Dept
 That's me!
Down goes the sign!