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Picturing the Past 152: KMart

Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012, at 9:37 AM

Shelbyville's former KMart store at its grand opening in September 1976. Its former site has sat empty for years. (T-G file photo)
It's too bad the large former shopping center out Madison Street in Shelbyville sits largely unoccupied today.

Remember when it was anchored by a KMart (yes, kids, Shelbyville once had one...) and Kroger on the other end?

Here it is just after completion in the summer of 1976; the photo's dated Sept. 1 and the grand opening was in progress.

The store closed in the mid-1990s, and I'm thinking 1994. Talk at the time was that the store was profitable, but that so many of its original employees still remained that some employees were making more money than the manager and payroll was a problem. True or not?

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

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i miss having the Kmart..

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Fri, May 4, 2012, at 2:02 PM

PTP #153 will appear Wednesday.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Apr 3, 2012, at 4:28 PM

And Big Lots took the space when K Mart did close, but even Big Lots didn't last very long there.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Sat, Mar 31, 2012, at 12:14 AM

It was well after 1996 when it closed, because I moved to Bedford County in '96 and I remember shopping there.

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Sat, Mar 31, 2012, at 12:13 AM

Yeah, at one time we had a K-Mart and a Freds. I wish now though we had a Target because it is such a better store than Wal-Mart.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Mar 30, 2012, at 1:03 AM

The cars got my attention too. quite a few classics sittin on that lot.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Mar 29, 2012, at 12:42 AM

Look at those wonderful cars!!

-- Posted by moonwalker on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 5:11 PM

I think KMart bought Sears. In the DC area it's still quite busy, and its main competitor is Target, not WalMart (which as far as I know is always a superstore with about 50 acres of parking).

-- Posted by razyn on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 5:06 PM

My understanding the closing of K-Mart was not because it was unprofitable but the group of K-Marts that it was linked with were, so it wasn't profitable for the dilivery trucks to continue to serve this particular one and therefore the whole group was closed.

-- Posted by walrite on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 2:14 PM

Shelbyville's Walmart is a successor of the old Big K, which opened in Big Springs Shopping Center in 1965. Walmart bought the Big K chain sometime in the 1980s.

-- Posted by David Melson on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 2:05 PM


Was K-Mart before Walmart? I know that in some places there are still K-Marts but in the Dallas area they all had to close because they were not profitable. It was possibly because of Walmart. I just wondered if Shelbyville at one time had both Walmart and K-Mart.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Mar 27, 2012, at 12:04 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.