It seems like these days every few months you hear of multiple Kmart stores closing. The Kmart in Harlan has been gone since 1995, the one in Middlesboro since 2002. The one in Hazard closed in 2012. The only Kmart stores left in the eastern part of the state are in Pikeville, London, Corbin, Paintsville and Grayson (one might include Somerset in this list as well) That’s it.
Last month it was announced that the Kmart in Wise Virginia would close in April. Now, while I have never really shopped at this store a lot, its still sad to see another nearby one go away. I guess to understand my soft spot for Kmart you have to understand the different milestones I achieved at a Kmart store. My dad bought me my first Super Nintendo at the Kmart in Harlan. I bought my first 19″ tv from the Kmart in Middlesboro. I bought my first cat condo from the Kmart in Hazard. I guess the place will always have a place in my heart. I kept thinking about this store in Wise closing, and while it really wasnt that special of a store to me, I still wanted to document its existence. What I would give for a picture of the Kmart in Harlan! That would be great. So, someday, 20 years down the road when there is someone online searching for a picture of the Kmart in Wise because his dad bought him his first WiiU there, this blog will be there for them.