Let me take you WAY back for a second. There was a department store in Gabe's Shopping Center on Triplett Street a very long time ago called W.T. Grant. It left that strip mall to become the biggest retail outlet in Wesleyan Park Plaza in the early 1970s. And it changed its name to Grant City.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, OWENSBORO'S K-MART WAS A SHOPPING HOTSPOT

Soon after, it became a K-Mart and turned shopping on its ear in Owensboro. Downtown was still thriving at the time, but folks were making time for what Wesleyan Park Plaza was offering. K-Mart moved in to join Mr. Wiggs--a department store next to Kroger which had been called Value Village. It later became Heck's. And then, of course, Kroger became giant-sized, and, well, the rest is history.

K-MART BECAME UNABLE TO COMPETE

K-Mart was a thriving department store and not one anybody ever thought would close. But along came the Internet and then the convenience of online shopping, and soon, brick-and-mortar establishments were going by the wayside. K-Mart was one of them. Walmart and Target didn't help, either. But it's not like they weren't trying--as recently as within the last decade.

I lived close to K-Mart and visited often. I usually only bought socks, but that was important. I couldn't find the selection of size 15 socks anywhere else. I do okay now that K-Mart is gone, but in retrospect, they STILL outnumbered the competition.

ONLY THREE K-MART STORES REMAIN

I was surprised to learn that there are three K-Mart stores still in operation--in Bridgehampton, New York; Miami, Florida; and Westwood, New Jersey.

In my family, shopping experiences were entertainment. We used to load up the car and go to Evansville JUST to visit Washington Square Mall and long-forgotten box stores like ABC and Ayr-Way.

The same was true in Owensboro. Shopping at K-Mart was usually accompanied by dinner at the restaurant inside the store. That was always a cool feature of old department stores--in-house diners. They all went away long before the stores actually did--the ones that DID go away, I mean. Walmart and Target are still thriving but once had dining areas.

Three little K-Marts are still hanging around, and you have to wonder how long that will last.

Here are 50 of your favorite retail chains that no longer exist.

 

50 Famous Brands That No Longer Exist