Attention K-Mart Shopper Memories, this is a tribute

K-Mart officiall didn’t die until fairly recently but in reality K-Mart feels like it’s been dead for decades. It was such a strange supermarket that I will miss despite not being a place I loved. It was just unique in certain ways, and perhaps not the ways that you’d want to be but nevertheless it’s what the K-Mart brand was. This isn’t about the history of the supermarket, how it got into debt, bought sears, only to lose it all. This is all memories to be nostalgic about a place you bought your groceries and other stuff and memories from a kids perspective in the 90s and 2000s.

In the 90s as a kid going to K-Mart was not my preferred choice of a store, for some reson I preferred walmart. I was a little kid so of course I’m guessing visually it was just boring. I do remember the toy aisle being different, which was both good and bad. I disliked it since it seemed to be missing some of the more recognizable stuff that you would expect to see from the toy aisle in the 90s. However it also had some different toy lines I never saw in other stores like Captain Planet and Henson’s Dinosaurs. Hell I got the entire Henson Dinosuars toy line at K-Mart which was my introduction to the show.

I’m guessing most of the toys I got at K-Mart was mostly from sales through their blue light special discounts. I remember this since it meant that we had to stay at the store for much longer until they announced the special blue light sale and we could get special discounts. In a way it was fun and innovative and annoying as hell. I can see why they got rid of it and why people could be nostalgic for it. I remember one time having to return a toy because the blue light was never activated or however it might’ve worked, I didn’t even like the figure that much, but it was more of the having to give up on something I thought was going to be mine.

I got to live in Mexico for one year and they had opened a K-Mart, their first one. And this was unlike any K-Mart I ahd ever been to. Now there were definitely differenes between K-Marts, I remember Big K having tons of toys and loving it whenever we got to go to one instead of a regular one. But this K-Mart in Mexico was special, it had tons of stuff and super modern as you’d expect from a store in the late 90s. Tons of stock, tons of awesome toys. Sadly apparently this store closed in the years after and last time I visited it was just a generic Mexican “Mega Comercial” grocery store instead, I’m guessing it was not a success and K-Mart never oepned other branches.

Now K-Mart in the states was a different beast, as years passed by it did seem like it never evolved past the early 90s and you could tell. As old stores like Venture went away for newer ones like Target and as walmart evolved..K-Mart was still early 90s K-Mart which made it into a store you wouldn’t want to visit often. It had nothing new for the most part and was usually empty. This had benefits though..

I remember forgetting to pre-order The Legend of Zelda wind waker for Gamecube for some reason I was sad I had missed out on the pre-order bonus which was a collectors edition Disc that included the NES Zelda games as well as the N64 Zelda’s Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. All stores had run out of those pre-orders but not K-Mart, Not only that apparently only they included the strategy guide for free. Next time I forgot to preorder and it was sold out elsewhere I knew exactly where to go.

So it became a meme that whenever I was nostalgic for something of the past or wanted to buy something from 2 years ago or longer I would just go to K-Mart and buy it. They likely had it in stock and since it was old it would also be cheap as hell. That’s how I got a huge collection of Pokemon Plush on clearance and how I got tons of GBA and DS games for cheap. I grew a new found love for K-Mart. Its greatest weakness became its greatest strength, a time capsule of the past. Luckily if I ever feel the need to revisit K-Mart there is a very nice world on VR CHat that recreates K-Mart pretty well.

Luigi Kawasaki

social hermit

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