Flashback Friday: Kmart was a Must Stop for School Shopping in Tyler, Texas
The other day, we were having an interesting watercooler talk about Kmart here at the radio station. We were just reminiscing about the locations the store was at in both Tyler and Longview, Texas and how each of those locations have changed over the years. It lead into doing some crack research into if the retail chain was even in operation anymore.
Shopping at Kmart
I remember shopping at Kmart in Tyler. I had some help trying to remember where the original location of Tyler's Kmart was before it moved to Loop 323 close to Troup Highway. It was at where Big Lots is now on Beckham down from the hospitals. The location shut down in 1992 to move to its new Loop 323 location. That location shut down in 2003 and later became Hobby Lobby and is now Crunch Fitness.
Original Tyler Kmart location where Big Lots is now on Beckham
Old Tyler Kmart location on Loop 323, closed in 2003, Crunch Fitness now
As for the Longview Kmart, I only remember it at the McCann Road location. That Kmart lasted well past the Tyler location, closing in 2016. The building stood empty for three years or so until it was repurposed for a huge self storage business and an apartment complex.
Longview Kmart in 2013 from Google Street View
That area is now a Simply Stor-It and Parkside Apartments.
As we were doing this reminiscing, we did some crack research into if Kmart as a brand and retail store was even still open. Their parent company is Sears who filed for bankruptcy many years ago and closed a bunch of stores, including where my dad was employed in Tyler attached to the Broadway Square Mall.
Turns out, there are only three Kmart stores still open in the United States and just a few stores outside of the U.S.
- Westwood, New Jersey
- Bridgehampton, New York
- Miami, Florida
Kmart just couldn't keep up with Walmart, Target and other retailers and had to shut its doors. Its sad, too, for us of a certain age who remember fondly of family shopping trips and grabbing a "blue light special." Its just crazy to think how quickly things can change in an area of East Texas and how the memories of those locations never go away.