Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kmart – Paramus, New Jersey

Location: 859 Route 17, Paramus, NJ 

As mentioned in last week's News Break, the Paramus Kmart is shutting down in December. Liquidation sales are well underway. I could not let the store fade into oblivion without an exhaustive tour of its very unique interior. Featuring a non-gocery store locations on the blog is certainly not the norm here on Acme Style. This particular location actually does qualify as a former grocery store as it was originally home to Grand Way, which combined a discount store with a supermarket. When Grand Way came to an end, the supermarket portion of the business opened at the other end of the shopping center as a Grand Union. Kmart moved into the space as the new discount retailer for this shopping center. By all accounts, it has been very successful over the years.The Paramus Kmart has always been located a very comfortable distance from other discounters like Walmart and Target. Well, that was until 2010 when Target opened in the Bergen Town Center which is about 15 minutes away. Thing is... with the traffic in Paramus, you would rarely get there in 15 minutes, especially on a Saturday. The area still observes Blue Laws so all non-food retailers are closed in Sundays which makes Saturdays absolute mayhem in the area.

We'll have to wait and see what happens here to really know the reason why Kmart is closing. As speculated on the blog and elsewhere on the internet, Stop and Shop may be interested in building a replacement store on this portion of the property. Sears and Kmart are more than happy to give up a store, regardless of profitability, if someone else shows interest. The company is even leasing space in their stores to other retailers who are willing to move in and share the space.

Very limited "Store Closing Sale" exterior signage. The main portion of the building here is very similar to Penn Fruit locations we've seen on the blog. The arched area of the store houses the clothing departments and front-end. We're going to enter from the other side in order to save the best of the interior for last.

If you look closely, you can see the "Big Kmart" scar. The store has had two significant remodels in recent years. First, the brown and orange retro look with an internet café being added to the front of the store. This remodel also saw the unusual relocation of the grocery department to the very back corner of the store. I believe that change was reversed for the last remodel which had the it moved back to it's original spot. Hard to tell as the back corner of the store is completely emptied out now.

The Garden Shop is in this corner.

Long hallway heading in on this side, normally stocked with seasonally and sale items.

Quick look across the front-end. Nearly every register is open.

The original home to Customer Service. Remember the "Big Kmart" service counters with the giant TV screen built in? Those things went dark not long after they were put in. Seemed like a big expense at the time which did absolutely nothing for the stores.

Looking towards the back of the store with a preview of the arched ceiling. The ceiling did not look this good in the early 2000's when I shopped here regularly. It was very gray and lifeless.

Looking towards the back after a few more steps in.

Turning to the left we see greeting cards and heath & beauty which back up to the hallway that we entered through.

Love that random rake just standing there! I'll take it!!

Across from heath and beauty is where groceries where located during liquidation. With the refrigerators here as well, I'm assuming the department was returned to its original spot after the last remodel. I nearly laughed when I saw the refrigerated cases. About 6 doors in total. Sad comparison to Target's extensive refrigerated departments.

Looking over to the Garden Shop. Several different ceiling heights and lightning styles throughout the store.

The "K" on the wall is leftover from the orange and brown remodel.

Looking along the far left wall all the way to the back. Notice another ceiling height in the back corner...

Looking from the garden shop over to the right side of the store.

Facing the back once again. You'll see these huge support columns that would indicate an addition have been done to the store.

The rear section of the store...

And time to head to apparel where things get really interesting!

Tons of  pictures of for this portion of the store. I just love this architecture here.

Spot lights running along the back are not in use.

Another "K" left over from the orange and brown remodel.

Seriously old school security lights and intercom speaker!

Heading to the front of the store...

Not sure if Customer Service lost its signage or never had any to begin with.

That's the way to make your logo stand out.

Now leaving on of the most unique Kmarts of all time...

For coverage of the former Grand Union/Stop and Shop in this shopping center, please click here.


  1. Wow! What a great store. I love visiting unique Kmarts almost as much as I used to love visiting the Acmes around Northeast PA ... there are several old school Kmarts still left in NEPA

    1. Northeast PA has a whole mix of original Kmart locations as well as former Grant City and (former) Arlans locations.

  2. I grew up in New Milford and remember this store as both a K Mart and as a Grandway owned by Grand Union. It replaced the small Grand Union in the Bergen Mall ( The Mall had both Finast and Grand Union). My parents took us there frequently. Thanks Gerry

  3. Hate to say it but I rather prefer the orange/tan/brown design over the stark white with red signs design. As far as the poor selection of cold foods, some Kmart locations do have a somewhat expanded selection and there are some that also have frozen food (TV dinners, pizzas, ice cream, etc).

  4. https://scontent-b-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10443602_10152873951939904_2589831176968440870_n.jpg?oh=8ede0b26d3231cc8faae3d9a4ce9604c&oe=5511373D

  5. Very nice post, as you mentioned, this location had the Grand Union connection (Grand Way) and another location that Kmart operates today was also a former Grand Way, which is on Rt 4 (Broadway) in Elmwood Park just left of where the GU headquarters tower used to be with the Grand Union store that anchored the shopping center... with this Paramus location, I found it kinda silly that with the nice "standout" architecture of having the high arched roof and all windows in the front, when Kmart decided to remodel the store the first time around, why they would take away those front windows from top to bottom; really was a waste to cover up that unique touch! I wonder if Stop&Shop intends to take over that space, which I believe they would want to knock down that structure and reconfigure that shopping center...

  6. Was I only one who noticed the classic pre-1991 Kmart logo on the store closing sign?

    1. This is not the pre-91 kmart logo, It is actually their AU logo

    2. ...which was in use at American Kmarts until 1991.

  7. That seems to be fairly common with the closing signs - there was speculation that whoever organizes those sales (the liquidation company) may have stumbled on the Australian Kmart site (which still uses that logo) and grabbed it without realizing it was not the same Kmart.

  8. too bad the owners of K mart and Sears haven't a clue how to run retail stores. i serviced K Mart when they were the big dog retail opening stores often clean full of merchandise
    big mistake was the groceries they cut a lot of what they used to carry. it terrible how the stores look like now dirty messy old merchandise mixed with current things
    they probably should have franchised individual owners could have made a go of them i doubt if they will make it to the end of the decade

  9. Can your next Bonus Store post in December be the former Grand Union/Stop & Shop in Sparta (which has moved from Rt. 181 to a new home up Rt. 517) now as an Ocean State Job Lot? When you do, include information and a picture of the new Sparta Stop & Shop!

    1. That won't be happening in December. Possibly sometime in the future. The new Stop and Shop in Sparta is so awful, I doubt I will be doing any coverage of it. They should have let Acme build there when they wanted to.

  10. This store is now closed. The sign was removed this week and the windows are now covered in white. Now we wait to see what the future holds for this property.

  11. Whoa whoa whoa that's Australian Kmart closing signage!

  12. This was one of the cleanest and nicest Kmart stores in the area. Was really a shame they decided to close, especially since the location was really good as well in the shopping hub of New Jersery, Paramus!! However there are 2 other Kmarts within 10 minutes so that could have played a factor too. Loved the unique structure of the store too!

  13. Check out the inside of the K-Mart! The article says the Stop & Shop owns the property and has not released its plans as of yet.