Kmart Shoppers Showcase

*The following video is being put up for archival purposes only.*

An old video covering the rise and fall of the Kmart retail chain, as part of the short-lived Shoppers Showcase series.


What you’re watching is the first episode of the short-lived Shoppers Showcase series, which only lasted two episodes before getting the axe.

This was part of an attempt to diversify my documentaries outside of tech and games, and while it did fine viewership-wise, the quality wasn’t great:

  • The first 8 minutes of the video attempts to tell the history of Kmart as quickly as possible—not only is it way too fast-paced and kinda low quality, but it also misses some key details that would’ve made for an interesting documentary: Why and how did S.S. Kresge get to where he started his own store? What is a discount department store? Where else did Kmart expand to beyond North America?

  • Not only that, but some portions of the history segment are sort of told out of order: Kmart’s acquisitions were just glanced over in this video, but you could go into a little more detail on what happened to them and such. Change in management also played a key role in the history of Kmart (especially Charles Conaway and Eddie Lampert), and I could’ve gone into more detail on that.

  • Since the release of this video, the last Super Kmart has closed, and Kmart’s parent Sears Holdings had since went bankrupt. As of 2023, its assets are owned by Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments through TransformCo—there are only 3 Kmart stores left in the continental United States.

  • This video was an early example of using the “Technology Showdown” speech bubbles to tell a non-fiction story—I would later reuse this in some Savvy Sage episodes.

  • The last 7 minutes of this video shows off what the Kmart stores looked like when they were open. I also show some abandoned stores that have since either been demolished or replaced by other retailers. The photos and videos themselves are not bad, but you could go into more detail on what the stores were like in their prime…like the Kmart Café for example.

Overall, this video has not aged great—obviously a remake is planned for the Savvy Sage series at some point in the future. (It was actually in development at one point when it was a podcast called “Let’s Talk This Over”, but I’ve since put it on an indefinite hold.)

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