Mar 30, 2018

The Last Ten Days Of K-Mart

Laurel Mall - Hazleton, PA
When the Laurel Mall first opened in 1973, this was a Zayre Department Store.  Zayre was bought Ames in 1988, and by the end of the 80's, the store in the Laurel Mall was converted into an Ames.  That Ames store closed up in February 1994 and was replaced by K-Mart, which moved from their location in downtown Hazleton to the Laurel Mall.  After 24 years, K-Mart is closing its doors, and with no replacement lined up, this anchor store is going to be vacant for the first time since the Laurel Mall first opened.

I worked in the electronics department at this store in 1997.  In fact, for a very brief time, I was the department manager, but it didn't last.  I was only 17 years old at the time and the store manager only gave me the promotion to be spiteful to the guy that I replaced (he got sent to the Photo Lab).  It was a pretty crappy place to work, but it was sort of cool to work in an electronics department shortly after the launch of the Playstation, Saturn and Nintendo 64.

They've been selling off their merchandise and fixtures at pretty heavily discounted prices for the past few weeks.  The store has been picked pretty clean and is mostly a hollow shell at this point, but I wanted to get a few photos of what's left before they close up for good.

This store had two sets of registers - one for the mall entrance and one for the outdoor entrance.  This is the latter.  The area in the background at the far right was the Little Caesars Cafe. 

Until recently, this area had the jewelry counters and clothing racks.

Most of the merchandise and store fixtures have already been sold.  It's pretty slim pickens today.
My old department is looking pretty bare.

I wonder how much they want for the giant "Electronics" letters on the wall.

That's not creepy at all.  How much for the grey bottom half of the human body with the bubble crotch?

These lockers were near the break room for employees to keep their belongings.

This used to be the lawn and garden department.  Those doors lead out to an area that is completely caged in where larger plants were sold.  It would make a great spot to shoot a scene in a zombie film.

This corner was the Little Caesars Cafe.  The part in front on the far right was the customer service desk.  It's a near experience to wait in line for pizza while listening to people complain about the merchandise they're returning.

The back tile wall was part of the kitchen at Little Caesar's.  The counter started right where the checkered floor tile ends.  The heat lamps that keep the pizza warm are still hanging up.

Apparently the pizza heat lamps are on sale for $40.  I bet the kitchen would look great with these three things dangling from the ceiling.

I always thought it was a little weird to have the Icee sign above the restrooms.