Andrew T.

Andrew T.

Posted on 12/10/2008

Photo taken on May 14, 2008


West Virginia
Minolta X-370

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Kmart store #9207 (Beckley, WV)

Kmart store #9207 (Beckley, WV)
This Kmart is located across the street from the Big Lots/ex-Kroger and decrepit Raleigh Mall in Beckley. To date, it is the creepiest Kmart I have ever shopped in.

The last time I was there, I wheeled my cart to the clothes section towards the left of the store, and there was not a single other person in sight. I felt totally alone in the store. There was no one staffing the dressing rooms; there was no one staffing the gun case. The number of other customers that I saw could be counted on one hand.

Oh well. Stories aside, this building is typical of Kmart architecture of the early 1970s; hence, the thin vertical bricks and nice little arches in front. Also typical of Kmarts, this store fell prey to a botched "Big K" remodeling job in the 1990s and looks like crap inside and out. Couldn't they at least have had the courtesy of actually centering the new sign on the facade?

I still miss the Princeton, WV Kmart store, which closed in 2000 and was torn down altogether after standing empty and looking pitiful for seven years. Although a bit small and crowded inside, it was always a fun place to shop, and I could always count on finding whatever I looked for there. The fact that they kept the iconic late '70s orange walls up there till the end (with a mismatch of '70s and '80s interior signs) didn't hurt, either.