if you want to be alone, shop at k-mart

Often, for my work, I have to camp out in hotels and wait for my next job. Many times near the hotel clusters there will be ramshackle and/or abandoned shopping centers. As long as they don't look dangerous, I love walking through them. I posted about this type thing before.

If it's a K-Mart shopping center, it's like striking gold. You'd be hard pressed to find an easier retailer to make fun of than K-Mart. They always have a very special atmosphere. πŸ˜€ If you like to be alone, this is the place to shop. You can get a lot of thinking done in there. It's a good time for me while on the road for work. It gets me out of the hotel room for awhile, and I can meditate. πŸ˜€

Some of the fun things that happen at K-Mart are these:

  • The parking lot will often have holes in it the size of lunar craters, but since I'm usually walking, they are easy to dodge.
  • The floor inside the store will be worn down the the underlying cement along the main customer paths from customers long ago.
  • At least one part of the store, and maybe the entire store, will have an "odor."
  • Any shopping cart that you pick will have a wheel that is not round, or will jerk from side to side, making a nice klankity-klank sound as you go.
  • Prices are high. I bought groceries at a Super-K one time and feared that I was going to need a loan to get out of there.
  • Their store brands are usually more costly than name brands somewhere else.
  • A great deal of the merchandise will be unpriced. The shelf tags are long gone. Don't ever buy these items and hope. You'll find that the $1.50 deck mop you just bought was actually $12.50. In my mind, unpriced merchandise is not for sale, period.
  • The cashier lanes are narrow and so packed with do-dads hanging everywhere that your cart will invariably snag something and knock a lot of stuff to the floor.
  • In the *one* check-out lane that is open, every single transaction will have a problem that requires a manager to make a long slow walk from the manager "skybox" on the other side of the store.
  • The customer in front of you will *always* write a check that requires the world's most elaborate and time consuming verification procedure. I always stare in disbelief because it looks so strange to see someone write a check these days.
  • Many of the employees and customers will look seriously troubled in one way or another.

I was reading a funny article about K-Mart at the Consumerist website tonight. A couple of posters made comments that were right on the money:

"johnrhoward" made a funny, but true, comment: "Every time I go into Kmart, I feel like the customers are outnumbered by the employees. It's disorienting."

"IfThenElvis" said: "I love shopping at Kmart. It's so quiet and empty. My local Walmart does more business at it's return counter than Kmart does at all its checkouts."

πŸ˜† πŸ˜† I've never seen a retailer die a slower more painful death over more decades than this one.

11 responses to “if you want to be alone, shop at k-mart

  1. I'm amazed they're still alive. Haven't seen a store in such dreadful condition since the Communist times.

  2. "while I'm waiting for my next job" :sherlock:

  3. Originally posted by claudeb:

    Haven't seen a store in such dreadful condition since the Communist times.

    When it snows here, which is a little rare, the supermarkets will get hit hard. People rush in to stock up on food, booze, toilet paper, etc., and it's one of the rare times you'll see a supermarket with bare shelves, things turned over, and items smashed on the floor.I usually say to the person with me, "it looks like a communist supermarket in here", due to the strange look of the light reflecting off the unusual bare shelves. πŸ˜€

  4. I'd forgotten about K-Mart – ours closed about four years ago.I have memories of K-Marts from childhood, though. We used to buy all of school supplies at K-Mart! πŸ™‚

  5. An even more weird chain was Zayre. There was something about them. You just knew you were in for it when you walked through those doors. A brand new store could be quite pretty, but they decayed very fast.It was a great place for a teenager to buy a skin magazine or cigarettes as nobody in those stores gave a shit about anything. We always got a Plen-T-Pack of Wrigley's gum with the mag so that it wouldn't look like we came into the store *just* for the light porn. πŸ˜†

  6. Your descriptions are spot on. Haven't been in a K-mart for quite a while as a few of them closed that were closest to me. You forgot that there always seems to be many empty and partially empty boxes of merchandise on the floor in the aisles. I do remember one from probably 40 years ago. It was one of the oldest ones and exactly how you described. Back then it had a XXX section with sex toys but I didn't realize it and was wandering around pushing my cart looking for a welcome mat. Suddenly I found myself staring at about 20 different dildos. I froze for a few seconds thinking I'd suddenly been transported telepathically to a Castle Boutique…which I've only been into once….on a dare. The creepy looking sales lady said something to me but can't remember what it was. I hurriedly got out of that section, paid for whatever I had and left. Never did get the welcome mat.

  7. operainchicago

    Ouch! I like the way you dodged my sherlock Dave πŸ™‚

  8. Originally posted by PainterWoman:

    Castle Boutique

    I've been there. πŸ˜€ When I lived in your neck of the woods, I rented a few movies there. One was called "Memories of Bamboo Island." It had a real plot to it! :up: Actually, a XXX section would be a welcome addition to K-Mart these days. It would fit right in with the general store atmosphere.I almost applied for a job at Castle Boutique, but I started thinking that it would be hard to explain it on a resume later.

  9. Originally posted by operainchicago:

    Ouch! I like the way you dodged my sherlock Dave

    Sherlock should praise himself lucky for not being rammed :DQuite a stunt, the coupon :lol:Oh my, would they have heard of piracy, too?

  10. Kmarts are still around?! :eyes:

  11. Originally posted by hungryghost:

    Kmarts are still around?

    Maybe the Sears tit still provides. Who knows.

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