The Somerville Kmart will close by mid-November, the Globe reports. It is the last store remaining from the old Assembly Square Mall, which opened in 1980.
Kmart is also closing stores in Brockton, Palmer, and Webster, as well as many other places throughout the country. The nearest remaining Kmarts (probably not for much longer) will be in Acton and Billerica.
I know they were a Corporate giant, especially under the Sears partnership, but I always find store closings to be very sad. The way they drain out anything of worth but leave behind random stuff that gets cheaper and cheaper and then they sell off the fixtures. I see it as a death of a dream, the end of jobs and in the case of Kmart the end of an era where Kmart was the big kahuna discount department stores in New England.
Ann & Hope
(others? comment below)
Not just local but Woolworth's 5 and dime. The last one I was lucky enough to live near closed in the early 90's
All needlecrafters bow their heads in a moment of silence for Windsor Button.
Not really what we are looking for here.
It didn't need to be more than one store because it was awesome.
Even though I grew up around here, I never went to Spag's until I lived in Springfield and found the one out there.
Hill's - Closed 1998
Rich's - Closed 1997
Stuart's - Closed 1995
Bernie's - Closed 2010
Filene's Basement - Closed 2011
King's - Closed 1984
Benny's - Closed 2017
Building 19 - Closed 2013
kings in newton for the back to school shopping, the turnstyle in allston..and just for the record it was actually ann & hope/S.
edited for sarcasm
It was definitely Ann & Hope.
Examples of signage as support.
Anyone remember the old New England Brickmasters TV ad that included the line, "When the store that has everything wanted one thing more, the right look, Caldor called us"?
I have no idea why we did it when I was a kid, but I remember many an evening spent at the Caldor on the Fellsway in Saugus browsing the books and tapes while my parents shopped for whatever.
Service Merchandise used to claim to be the country's leading jeweler.
Service Merchandise used to claim to be the country's leading jeweler.
Now that was a flashback. I used to love to go to Service Merchandise as a kid. And I do remember their laying claim to being the leading jeweler. It's probably wal-mart these days.
Don't forget Service Merchandise. Never understood their business model
F/K/A Almy, Begelow, and Washburn, flagship in Downtown Salem and locations across eastern Massachusetts. I think they went away in the mid 1980s, at least that's when the one in Burlington Center closed.
We had one in Lower Mills for many years.
I miss Ames. I really do.
Good stuff cheap, and a huge variety of goods at good prices.
Plus Ames' business model to include rural areas, so your local Ames in the mountains could have been your sole department store for you area (it was ours..2 Ames and a kmart)
Good store, poor management that drove it into the ground.
Ann & Hope still runs about 10 Curtain & Bath Outlet stores around New England.
I lived two blocks from a Bradlees so that was our store back in the day but there is no comparison in size between any of these and what Kmart was. At its prime Kmart had over 2,300 stores and even now in its severe weakened state (200 and dropping fast) it still has more locations than many of these had at their prime. As a kid I always assumed Kmart was the biggest of the big because I had no clue that Walmart and Target existed (Target still does not have as many outlets as Kmart had at its peak.) That size is the reason why Kmart managed to survive against the Walmart juggernaut for so long even as all the regionals fell.
I do miss the ability to choose which store to go to. I really did enjoy Bradlees the most, maybe it is because I was so used to it.
For times like these
Where’s the nearest Fretter?
It's no secret that Somerville City Hall and their running partners Federal Realty lusted to get Kmart out of the former Assembly Mall so that FRIT could bulldoze the whole thing and expand YuppieLand at Assembly Row. However, Kmart is holding a 99 year lease to that property (which has to be worth $$$$) which was apparently ironclad enough to keep Curtatone from ousting them. (From what I understand, the other current tenants have much shorter and contingent leases at the site.)
So they just walk away from that and close a busy store in the middle of a dense urban market where they have no other overlapping locations? I have my doubts that this is as simple as that . .
but this is _KMart_ we're talking about. They don't need sleazy deals with local politicians to help themselves screw up.
The surface parking lots so close to a T station are a waste of land, and better development of this site would benefit FRIT, the city, and anyone who walks through the area. This could be done while still keeping the other useful box stores open (such as Staples, TJMaxx, and the brand-new Trader Joe's and Burlington Coat Factory).
However, a question I haven't seen answered yet is whether the 99-year lease terminates with Kmart, or whether it is an assignable asset that Kmart can sell to someone else.
If the alternative to surface lots is multilevel garages with even more parking, I'll keep the lots for now. Maybe future leadership will learn how to build actual walkable neighborhoods again, rather than giant car-oriented retail disguised as a fake neighborhood.
Good to see Billy Tauro commenting here, but don't you have your own blog to spew unfounded conspiracy theories that formulate in your fever dreams? And how much rent does Curtatone pay to live in your head all the time?
I did some Googling after reading your reply. On the one hand, thank you for introducing my to Billy Tauro, who is such a shameless huckster--or such a genuine loon--that he's wildly entertaining. On the other, his junior-high-level prose stylings gave me a headache, so shame on you.
I'll take it!
And yes, he's fascinating in his... odd obsessions.
Honestly I stopped going to that Kmart unless I needed things from the other stores in that strip mall because the parking got so out of control. It became impossible to find a spot and while it may be worth hunting for a spot if you are going to be around for an hour or two next door, the same can not be said if all you need is a few items. This must have really hurt that local Kmart.
Plus they recently closed the Kmart up on rt One in Saugus with all the parking in the world.
The quality of Kmart had slipped from year to year until the last time I went in it began feeling very crowded with items literally every where including in the middle of aisles.
For me I appreciated the Kmart big and tall line, their polo shirts and other items were much less than other stores that would jack up the price for big and tall sizing. The quality was also better than one would expect for an under 20 dollar big and tall polo from Kmart.
Just announced today
I don't know whether Kmart (Sears) first decided to close the store and then FRIT offered them this money, or if FRIT offered the $14.5 million first to induce Kmart to close the store.
But I don't think it matters much. Kmart is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape, and even though this store has survived many rounds of store closings, it would not survive the ultimate and inevitable demise of the entire Sears/Kmart company. Better to put it out of its misery now and let FRIT redesign the area to be both more walkable and more profitable to the city.
worth moving home depot here? then do something better with HD/circuit city space that is way off in the corner....
Kmart grew out of Kresge's, which was a Woolworth-type department store. That's what the "K" in Kmart stands for. There was a Kresge's in Downtown Crossing at the corner of Washington and Temple Place, which, surprisingly, lasted well into the 80s, though by then it was a shell of it's former self. That Kresge's was part of the golden age of Washington Street department stores including Neisner's, Raymond's, Woolworth, and of course, Jordan Marsh and Filene's.
But for some reason I remember Kresge being where Family Dollar is in Roslindale Square.
Yes, Kresge's was where Family Dollar is now.
I've been waiting for this store to close. It sits on too valuable real estate to be a dying store. Maybe it will be re-developed into something fun.
Depends on the landlord. Federal owns all of the mall, the mixed use complex and the outbuildings. I don't think they own Home Depot and where Circuit City is.
Its how motivated the landlord is. A Walmart Neighborhood Market wanted to open there and the community said no cuz its WalMart.
The nails were the same as Sears - send money to shareholders rather than invest in the store. Last time I stopped in that KMart it was a dump. Have the stuff out of stock and such a mess it looked like no one ever re-shelved anything....
I was there last April on a Friday evening. The place was depressing. Employees looked and acted unhappy and the place was a mess. Presumably all the best people had already left for the better paying and better run stores in the plaza.
When I went there on Saturdays or on days I was on vacation, it's usually crowded but people (including myself) got great deals.
There's always online, I guess, but nothing beats picking something up and taking it right home.
I’m surprised that store lasted this long - should have closed 25 years ago....
With or without Touraine?
Also, Chess King?
I'm surprised you didn't dip into the history book and give us some background on the site:
As much as it might be nice to rag on Adam, he didn't create this post.
Good links though.
Edit: and to think that not only does Ford not make cars in Somerville, but they have stopped making cars altogether (in favor of SUVs and Trucks) except for the Mustang.
See my link to Labelscar in the original post.
Thanks for the clarification.
I was in the Palmer Kmart on Sunday for my first (and likely last) time. I admit I was impressed by how neat and clean the store was even as it was being emptied out. The staff were disassembling endcaps, removing shelves, yet the aisles of goods were orderly and all the soon-to-be-unemployed staff were friendly, attentive, and busy. Sadly it was a better shopping experience then many a going concern.
I worked at both the Wellesley store and the Framingham Bargain Center - and the Braintree store was a sort of landmark for "almost there" or "almost home" depending on which direction I was going
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