Kmart

Kmart has deep roots in Houston starting with the expansion of their predecessor chain S.S. Kresge to the city in 1960. The first Kmart stores were actually a larger format version of the original Kresege locations and were operated as a subsidiary. In 1962 the Houston Kmart location would open its doors, followed shortly after by Dallas, and Amarillo. These stores all opened just a few months after the Kmart concept had first debuted. These early locations often included grocery stores named “K-Mart Foods”. The grocery stores were co-located with K-Mart stores but were operated independently by local grocery companies. While the food operations would not catch on the discounter would. Kmart and Target were the first two discount department stores to take on the “Wild, Wild, West” of retailing in Texas. Interestingly Wal-Mart would not enter Texas until 1975. As such K-Mart was able to build a strong presence throughout the state. Initially most discount department stores were located in larger cities. While smaller towns were served by stores like Gibson’s. Similar in format but with less variety and slightly higher prices. Throughout the late 70s and 80s Wal-Mart and Kmart were on an expansion tear throughout small Texas towns. These expansions often brought on “Main Street Massacres” where once vibrant Main Streets lost most of their businesses due to competition from discounters. It wasn’t unusual to find medium-sized towns with both a Wal-Mart and a Kmart.

By the 1990s Kmart had mostly stopped expanding in Texas, and most of the U.S. They instead focused on diversifying their company by buying other chains. Most famously Builder’s Square, Sports Authority, and Borders. All the while Wal-Mart continued to expand and more importantly began to focus on Super Center locations. Both chains had experimented with true Hypermarket concepts in the late 80s. Wal-Mart with their HyperMart USA chain, and Kmart with their mostly forgotten American Fare. By the late 90s Kmart refocused their efforts on expansion, which included new Super Centers and conversion of smaller locations to “Big Kmarts”. In 1997 Kmart purchased multiple assets of failed new contender Venture who announced they were shrinking their Texas presence. These locations would reopen under the Big Kmart label and were well-received as most locations at that point were 30+ years old. Despite the update in locations, many other issues persisted such as a lack of updated technology, including an inventory system that was far outdated compared to their competitors and only showed a limited amount of chain wide data.

By the early 2000s Kmart was facing some very public financial issues while, CEO at the time Charles Conway blamed the problems on inherited issues and vowed to bring Kmart into the 21st Century. While it wasn’t known at the time high level executives began to funnel money from the company into personal accounts. They then used this money to purchase things like jets, houses, etc. In 2002 the company began to close low performing locations and sell the properties. This helped to bring some cash into the company but not enough to save it. By 2003 suppliers were missing payments which the company lied about blaming it on outdated equipment. It can be said that moves like the Venture purchase, and Super Kmart expansions were steps in the right direction, it seems that Kmart even styled their final built location Somers Point, NJ off of their former Venture stores. Unfortunately it seems that by this point the company had reached a point of no return, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. As part of their bankruptcy in early 2003 Kmart would close the majority of their locations in Texas. This would include all locations within major cities, except for a few in El Paso. The remainder of the Texas stores would be in East Texas and throughout the valley. These stores would mostly make it to 2017 with the final Kmart in Texas closing in 2018.

 

Store No
Address
Notes
#315312151 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 770791974-1995 Subdivided mostly AceMart
#33312305 FM 1960 W Houston, TX 770681976-1995 Subdivided mostly Texas Thrift Store
#3370222 FM 1960 Bypass E Humble, TX 773381983-1994 Former Woolco, Replaced by #4958 Super Kmart
#3404445 FM 1092 Stafford, TX 774771979-1995 Mostly New India Super Market
#345810955 FM 1960 W Houston, TX 770651978-1995 Subdivided between Hobby Lobby and Big Lots
#346612610 Bellaire Blvd Houston, TX 770721978-1992 Mr. Storage, Facade still in place
#34974815 Hwy 6 N Houston, TX 770841979-2002 Expanded to Big Kmart, Now Track 21
#36478230 Kirby Dr Houston, TX 770541989-2002 Subdivided Ross, Petsmart, Five Below
#3648230 S Loop 336 W, Conroe, TX 773041989-2003, Closed during Bankruptcy, now Incredible Pizza Company
#37453500 Garth Rd, Baytown, TX 775211992-2003 Replaced #4013 closed during bankruptcy.
#380917717 Tomball Pkwy Houston, TX 770641997-2002 Former Venture, Subdivided REI, Petsmart
#383014411 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 770821997-2002 Former Venture, Big Kmart, Burlington Coat Factory, now Alief ISD Development Center. Largely remodeled facade removed by Burlington
#38353401 Palmer Hwy. Texas City TX 775901997-2003 Former Venture, Originally built as Woolco, was a BP office for many years, now subdivided retail
#384411542 Gulf Fwy Houston, TX 770341997-2002 Originally built for Woolco, Former Venture, now Floor & Decor, Venture facade still in use
#3863310 FM 1960 W Houston, TX 770901997-2002 Former Venture, Subdivided multiple retailers
#38701001 Bay Area Blvd, Webster, TX 775981997-2003 Former Venture, Now subdivide Party City, Ashley, and World Market, Used to contain Circuit City
#387812005 Northwest Fwy Houston, TX 770921997-2002 Former Venture, Mostly Burlington Coat Factory, Some space is Affordable Furniture
#390128000 S US 59 Hwy, Rosenberg, TX 774711993-2002 Super Kmart, Mostly untouched until DPS moved in and took over half of building. The other half has been completely leased
#39042745 Town Center Blvd N Sugar Land, TX 774791997-2002 Former Venture, Subdivided Saks, DSW and others
#3909300 Meyerland Plaza Mall Houston, TX 770961997-2002 Former Venture, Replaced original multiple Meyerland Plaza stores approximately half of the shopping center. Now a Target
#39138300 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, Houston, TX 770721997-2002 Former Venture, Now Viet Hoa Vietnamese Market. The Venture facade stands but it has been mostly covered by new shops
#40131801 N Pruett St, Baytown, TX 775201962-1992 Contained Kmart Foods replaced by #3745
#40178315 Long Point Rd Houston, TX 770551962-1995 Contained Kmart Foods
#40241402 Spencer Hwy South Houston, TX 775871962-1995 Was not converted to Big Kmart, Extra Space Storage, Facade still in tact
#40809929 Homestead Rd Houston, TX 770161965-1991 Vacant
#40945702 Van Fleet St Houston, TX 770331965-1984 Contained Kmart Foods Demolished 2004
#419712401 S Post Oak Rd Houston, TX 770451967-1994 Some kind of community center? Power Center?
#42231431 W 20th St Houston, TX 770081967-2003 Contained Kmart Foods, closed during bankruptcy, Now mostly Restaurant Depot
#42368150 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 770741967-1995 Contained Kmart Foods, Building still standing, subdivided among many smaller tennants
#429911037 East Fwy Houston, TX 770291969-1996 Contained Kmart Foods, Building still standing, subdivided among many smaller tennants
#43026327 Stewart Rd Galveston, TX 775511969-2003 Closed during bankruptcy, Became Big Kmart, Now subdivided Ross-Five Below
#4328630 W Little York Rd Houston, TX 770911969-1992 Contained Kmart Foods, replaced by #7439. Demolished in 2014 for HCC
#43984200 Pasadena Blvd Pasadena, TX 775031970-1995 Half was demolished 2018 for new Joe V's location. Other half still operating as Hobby Lobby including original doors and slightly modified facade
#44253333 Telephone Rd Houston, TX 770231970-2003 Closed during bankruptcy, Building still standing, subdivided among many smaller tennants
#48847355 Hwy 6, Houston, TX 770821992-1997 Mission Bend Planned to and possibly converted into a Big Kmart right before Venture purchase, Replaced by 3830
#49261919 N Main St Pearland, TX 775811994-2002 Super Kmart, Replaced #7312, Demolished 2005 for Wal-Mart Supercenter
#49589470 FM 1960 Bypass Humble, TX 773381994-2002 Super Kmart, Still standing but highly remodeled in 2010. Completely untouched prior to that
#49738400 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 770631995-2003 Super Kmart, Site of infamous HPD Drag Racing Raid, that resulted in the incorrect arrest of multiple Kmart shoppers, Demolished for Home Depot in 2005
#70383803 Avenue H Rosenberg, TX 774711975-1993 Replaced by 3901 Became Variety Outlet (Thanks Ty!), Later Big Lots & Hobby Lobby
#70721000 W Nasa Blvd, Webster, TX1979-1995 Original facade intact, Subdivided Buck Wild Club, Furniture Store, and Habitat for Humanity
#73123205 E Broadway St, Pearland, TX 775811980-1994 Replaced by #4926, Subdivided between multiple tenants
#743910261 North Fwy, Houston, TX 770371992-2003 Built as an Anchor of the Kmart Power Center along with PACE and Builder's Square, Building now subdivided Closed during bankruptcy
#74113502 Palmer Hwy. Texas City TX 775901980-1997 Demolished for HEB around 2015
#7441501 Sawdust Rd, Spring, TX 77380 1992-1995 Originally 25055 Budde, Subdivided among Hobby Lobby and many different smaller centers. Also Whataburger training center!
#744913572 Tomball Parkway Houston, TX 770861981-1992 Originally 13572 W. Montgomery Rd., Subdivided mostly La Casa Del Pueblo Carniceria
#75945607 Uvalde Rd, Houston, TX 770491983-2003 Closed during bankruptcy, Building still standing, highly remodeled Mostly Joe V's but side is now used as strip center
#77515200 Fairmont Pkwy Pasadena, TX 775051995-2003 Closed during bankruptcy, Building demolished around 2004 for a Wal-Mart
#939011110 Fondren Rd Houston, TX 770961999-2002 Former Target, Very interesting store, Now subdivided mostly Citi Trends
#9426333 Mason Rd Katy, TX 774501999-2003 Last Houston store built, Now mostly Fiesta, other sections subdivided inlcuding garden center as gym
#96465264 W 34th St Houston, TX 770921979-1998 Subdivided between several tennants
#96771200 FM 1462, Alvin, TX 775111980-1995 Subdivided Tractor Supply, and Harbor Freight