Why K-Mart Is Going Under: An Example

I bought lampshades for two vanity-size lamps at K-Mart yesterday, along with some other stuff. Noticed at the self-serve register that the lampshades didn’t have barcodes.

This was Sunday morning, and they only had 2 normal registers open, both of which were backed up. After I’d waited awhile in line, they opened the register in the electronics department, and I hustled over there ahead of the crowd. When the cashier got a price check on the lampshades, the price checker told us that the lampshades weren’t supposed to be sold on their own; they went with the lamps on the shelf directly underneath them. I remembered the lamps, and assumed she was right.

So I got out of line and returned to the lampshade area. On a shelf on the next aisle, the same lampshades were for sale, with no lamps in sight, still with no barcodes on the lampshades (but with the Martha Stewart label), and prices labeled on the shelf with sufficient identifying information (“vanity lampshade - ivory”) that they were unquestionably referring to my lampshade.

So I take my shades (future’s so bright…;)) and return to the same register. This time, when he asks for a price checker, we wait for 10 minutes and still no price checker. He finally goes back with me to the lamp department, and writes the product ID down to key in at the register, in lieu of a barcode.

Stuff like this is not an isolated incident - something like it happens nearly every time I’m in K-Mart, just usually not this bad.

K-Mart will go under for real, soon enough.

[sub]Why do I keep on shopping at K-Mart, you ask? Because I do most of my shopping in a town that has no Target or Wal-Mart, that’s why. I’d have to make a special trip, most times, to shop at a different “Mart”. I can only hope that when K-Mart goes broke for good, Target will grab those locations.[/sub]

You should go to a Kwik-e-Mart type place then. Make lampshades out of knitted jerky packages, that sort of thing. Martha Stewart would be proud, and it’d even work as a unique air freshener.

Mmm, jerky…

Human skin makes nice lampshades, but you’ll have to dye them is you want anything other than earthtones.

IMHO, K-mart has been going downhill since they took out the deli with the Icee machine.

But cats are so much easier to catch.

I know this is the pit, but was there some other reason for your remark, Clint in Wichita? She said she was buying Ivory-colored shades. Bleach, not dye, would be needed.

I don’t know if you were lurking during the time, but you might want to tread lightly on that one… 1 2 3

Like the Martha Stewart collection, human skin lampshades would fall under the Ed Gein collection…

Completely true:

About two or three times, when I’ve been looking for camping or sports supplies at K-Mart, I’ve looked around for an employee, and ended up going behind the counter in Sporting Goods, figuring out how to work the intercom, and going on the PA with: “Customer needs assistance in Sporting Goods.” If that doesn’t work after a few minutes, I come back on: “Customer needs assistance in Sporting Goods. This is the customer. Somebody come back here, or I’ll never spend another dime in this store.” That’s worked at least once, but on one occasion I waited a few minutes and followed that with: “Customer needs assistance opening the cash drawer back here in Sporting Goods.” That got results.

And I’m not the only one. I walked in a K-Mart once and it looked as if there had been an emergency evacuation of employees. There were some staff members lounging around the checkouts, but I found no one in the rest of the store. In Sporting Goods (okay, that’s about the only area of K-Mart I ever go to), not only was the counter abandoned, but somebody’s small children were riding the bikes. After I had been there awhile, I heard an announcement: “This is a customer in Gardening, and I’ve been back here a goddamned hour. If somebody doesn’t come help me, I’m never coming in this goddamned store again!”

I’ve noticed that whenever I go to K-Mart there are always a bunch of people waiting at the regular check-out lanes, but at the self check-out lanes there’s never any line at all.

Why do people stand in line when they don’t have to? Can’t they figure out how to scan their own items??

I recently went into our local Kmart to purchase cat food, videos as well as many other things. Imagine how thrilled I was to find no checkers. NONE! I so enjoyed scanning those 75 cans of cat food. One at a time. Then waiting for the little electronic voice to tell me to put into in a bag before scanning the next one. After everything was scanned, and I had bagged everything, I was instructed to find a service person. It took 15 minutes to do so, only to have to go through all my bags to find the item that had set off the sensors.

Why didn’t I just Leave It all and walk out? I don’t know but it won’t happen again.

I can’t remember the last time I went into a KMart, but I do remember the store smelled funny. And I couldn’t find what I was looking for, as usual. I do drive past it every day, and it’s rare to see more than a dozen cars in the lot. They’ll be gone soon…

FYI: RTF isn’t a “she” but his wife is.

Err, sorry for the assumption, RTFirefly. I hope your manhood is not offended.
Thanks for the clue, Jeff!

This is one of the reasons I carry a mobile (cell) phone.
When you’re not getting the service your want, you ring the store and ask them to get someone into your area.

I’ve done this in a restaurant when we hadn’t been served for coffee 20 minutes after the meal was cleared.

I’ve done this in bank when there are two tellers open and the queue is out the door.

It tends to surprise the person on the end of the phone and they send someone over.

They just opened a Super Target near my home town. They still have a problem with some garden items (no Indian Hawthorne, for instance, a fairly common plant around here) but I’m sure the management will pick up on the consumers’ requests fairly quickly.

The parking lot at Kmart has been eerily empty.

For myself, I will never set foot in Kmart again.

I’ve noticed this at Kmarts too. Just try to get someone to help you in Shoes, or…God forbid:eek: get a key made. Go in Wal Mart, there are employees running around, doing stuff, very busy but they’re there. In Kmart it’s like a God damn ghost town. Price is important but customer service counts too.

Theres this one in West Allis, WI that we nick named “Third World Kmart” because it is so disorganized, nobody seems to be in charge, and it’s a total fucking mess. Shit is just cluttered in the isles. They changed it over to a "Big K’ Kmart about 2 years ago and never cleaned up the mess after construction.

I honestly believe that there is a better than 50% chance that Kmart does not recover and closes all of it’s doors forever.
Anyone who disagrees needs to remember such stores as Woolworths, Montgomery Wards, Arleans, Prange Way, Treasure Island, zayre, Gimbles, Builders Square, Schultz Brothers, National, etc., etc.,! At one time everyone of these business were #1, the top of the heap. Today they are either completely out of business or very, very downsized. Why? Because they couldn’t compete and/or their customer service was for shit!
Wake the fuck up Kmart!

I have no patience for K-mart. I have never, ever been able to make a routine purchase in one of their stores. Prices are missing both on the shelf and on the individual items, customer service people/cashiers are surly, the organization of the stores makes no sense, they almost never have sale items in stock…thank God I live in a major city and can just scootch down to Target.

Every time I drive by the 2 closed K-Marts within 3 miles of my apartment, I remember the time I spent half of what should have been a thesis-writing day trying to buy a $20 lamp at K-mart. Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

Since I worked at Kmart-I can explain:

They purposely understaff to save money. Yes, it’s stupid. But they don’t care. They’re incompetant morons and quitting that place was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

Trust me, they can’t. You would think after all these years of watching cashiers in stores, people would have that “slide the thing’s barcode over the glass and hear a beep” bit down. But no such luck. They get hung up at the “Press here for English” / “Oprima aquí para el español” option when they walk up to the register, and it’s downhill from there. The last two times I tried my luck at self-serve, the customers needed hand-holding assistance, and the transactions took longer than if a regular cashier did the job. What part of “Card declined” is so confusing? Also, on these last two times, half of the self-serve registers were broken.

All of the K-Marts in the Houston area are shutting down. The two Big K-Marts I frequent, however, have banner across the front that say “Now Hiring.” It’s usually just under the “Store Closing” banner. I have got to get a picture of that before it’s too late.

I’ve had my share of problems at K-Mart, but I tolerated them because the prices on bulk cat food and kitty litter were cheaper than Wal-Mart and Target. Plus, they actually have pants in my size (saving me from finding a Big and/or Tall store). On the negative side, both of the stores I go to seem to have a policy of not stocking scales. The employees (when I could find one) and myself never were able to find one. Plus, the self-scan machines hate me. I know how to use them (I can get through the ones at Kroger’s just fine), but the K-Mart ones hate what I buy and hate my bank card.