Let me take you back OFF for a second. A very long time ago there was a department store in Gabe’s Shopping Center on Triplet Street WT grant. In the early 1970’s this mall became the largest retail outlet in Wesleyan Park Plaza. And it changed its name to Grant City.
Believe it or not, OWENSBORO’S K-MART WAS A SHOPPING HOTSPOT
Soon after, it became a K-Mart and turned Owensboro shopping around. Downtown was still thriving back then, but people made time for what Wesleyan Park Plaza had to offer. K-Mart moved to Mr. Wiggs – a department store next to Kroger called Value Village. It later became Heck’s. And then, of course, Kroger got huge, and the rest is history.
K-MART BECOME NOT COMPETITIVE
K-Mart was a thriving department store and nobody thought it would close. But then came the internet, and then the convenience of online shopping, and brick-and-mortar retail soon fell by the wayside. K-Mart was one of them. Walmart and Target didn’t help either. But it’s not like they haven’t tried — not even in the past decade.
I lived near K-Mart and frequented it often. Normally I only bought socks, but this was important. I couldn’t find the selection of size 15 socks anywhere else. I’m fine now that K-Mart is gone, but in hindsight they still outperformed the competition.
ONLY THREE K-MART STORES REMAIN
I was surprised to learn there were any three K-Mart stores are still operating–at Bridgehampton, New York; Miami, Florida; and Westwood, NJ.
In my family, shopping experiences were entertainment. We used to load up the car and drive to Evansville ONLY to visit Washington Square Mall and long-forgotten department stores like ABC and Ayr-Way.
The same was true of Owensboro. Shopping at K-Mart was usually accompanied by dinner at the in-store restaurant. This has always been a cool feature of old department stores – in-house diners. They all disappeared long before the stores actually disappeared – the ones that had disappeared, I mean. Walmart and Target are still thriving, but once had dining areas.
Three small K-Marts are still hanging around and you have to be wondering how long that will last.