A column of Amazon delivery trucks operating out of a nearby facility move through the parking lot of the Kmart store at 10 Mile and Dequindre roads in Warren on Dec. 27. It was not clear when the Warren Kmart will close for good, but signs posted inside and outside indicated “Everything Must Go.”

A column of Amazon delivery trucks operating out of a nearby facility move through the parking lot of the Kmart store at 10 Mile and Dequindre roads in Warren on Dec. 27. It was not clear when the Warren Kmart will close for good, but signs posted inside and outside indicated “Everything Must Go.”

Photo by Brian Louwers


Customers swoop in for deals as Warren Kmart store moves closer to closure

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published January 3, 2020

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WARREN — In the shadow of a massive Amazon warehouse across Dequindre Road on the border of Hazel Park and Warren, one of the region’s last brick-and-mortar Kmart stores was offering some of the last of its face-to-face bargains two days after Christmas.

On clear display were both literal and figurative signs of the times.

Inside, banners announced that “Everything Must Go,” with “Nothing Held Back.” Sale prices were listed at 50-75% off the lowest ticketed price. Even the equipment, furniture and fixtures were for sale. Many of the racks were empty, as the merchandise had been cleared out.

Outside of the store, a column of Amazon delivery trucks operating out of the nearby facility moved through the parking lot as shoppers came and left with items that other consumers might buy online these days.

“I love Kmart,” said Reese Ward, 49, of Hamtramck, who left with a basket of things for herself, her grandchildren and family members.

Ward said she learned the store on 10 Mile Road was closing when she went in to pick up a layaway item. She came back to buy shoes at 80% off, clothing at 75% off and vitamins discounted 70%. Her cart also included dish soap and other household items. She said she spent $57.

“The prices were always reasonable. The shoes. The socks. The underwear. Just the clothing in general. When you have children, such as I, three children, to just come to Kmart and you can get them all shoes. Things like that we will miss,” Ward said. “We will never have this again when it’s closed.”

Terry Ridgeway, 72, of Hazel Park, said he has shopped at Kmart “forever,” off and on.

“Just the stuff. The prices. The sales,” Ridgeway said. “We’ve been checking it out every few days since it’s been going out of business.”

It wasn’t clear what the final closing date would be for the Kmart store on 10 Mile, and the store’s manager referred all questions to the company’s corporate office.

According to a statement published online, Transformco (Transform SR Brands LLC)  purchased assets of the Sears Holding Corp. in February 2019. Listed brands included Kmart and Sears.

The decision to shutter the Warren Kmart store was apparently made before the latest round of “going out of business” sales, involving 96 Sears and Kmart stores, was expected to begin on Dec. 2.

“We have been working hard to position Transformco for success by focusing on our competitive strengths and pruning operations that have struggled due to increased competition and other factors,” the statement indicated.

According to a timeline posted on the Transformco website, the first Kmart opened in Garden City in 1962.

“Online shoppers are the worst. You’re putting these stores out of business when you online shop,” Ward added. “I’m not an online shopper, never will be. I like going in the store, trying on my things.”

She said that while investments by online retailers like Amazon mean “jobs and opportunities” locally, some things will still be lost.

“I don’t know how many more places we have where you can go and relax and shop,” Ward said. “When this place goes, this is just going to be a terrible thing.”

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