World’s Largest Kmart
A long time ago and in a world far, far away, one Sebastian Spering Kresge invested in a pair of five-and-dime stores in Detroit, MI. These grew to become Kmart – the discount retail giant Sam Walton patterned his stores after (and eventually eclipsed).
As a kid, we spent many hours wandering the wide aisles of Kmart – beginning at the Southfield location on 8 Mile and then later the 13 Mile and Orchard Lake road locale. The stores were always packed – with people and products.
With the advent of Wal-Mart, Kmart experienced a steady decline, falling into insolvency and merging with Sears, shuttering its headquarters along with many of its stores. It’s not been the same since – dingy stores, old stock and empty parking lots the norm.
Where America’s Day begins, however – it’s a different story.
Look closely at the photo above; you’ll see a light post and the roofline of a truck on top of the store. Yes. It’s big enough to warrant parking on the roof! It’s so big that it was impossible to fit into a single photo.
Like the Kmarts of my youth – it was packed.
In addition to local business, this is a prime destination for the Japanese, Korean and Chinese tourists visiting the island!
Second is a quirk specific to Pacific islands:The Spam aisle. Everything in this view is canned luncheon meat – with the exception of some spices at the far right. They even have a flavour unique to Kmart:
The checkout area is unlike any I’ve seen in a Kmart.
The trick to getting through checkout quickly is to avoid the lines with Japanese, as they don’t speak English – and the cashiers speak only Chamorro and English.
It’s heartening to see a Midwestern institution prosper halfway around the world, and a reminder of the comforts of home.