Inside a Creepy Deserted Kmart: Flint, Michigan

Kmart, once a thriving retail chain with numerous stores across the United States, faced financial challenges and stiff competition from other retailers, leading to the closure of many locations over the years. Among these shuttered stores is one in Flint, Michigan – a city grappling with economic decline and a water crisis. In this article, we’ll delve into the abandoned Kmart in Flint, exploring its history and current state.

The History of the Flint Kmart

Constructed in the mid-1960s on the grounds of the former North Flint Drive-in Theater, operational from 1948 to 1966, the Flint Kmart formed part of a larger complex featuring a Circle Grocery store, a gas station, and a car wash. Pioneering the iconic blue light specials, which signaled discounted items with flashing blue lights, the store offered services like a pharmacy, a garden center, a photo lab, and a cafeteria.

Initially prosperous, catering to the northeast side residents of Flint, the Flint Kmart saw a decline in sales and clientele as the city’s population and economy waned. Intense competition from retail giants like Walmart and Target exacerbated the situation. In 1999, as part of Kmart’s restructuring plan, the Flint Kmart closed its doors along with 284 other stores nationwide. Since then, the store has remained vacant with no plans for redevelopment or demolition.

The Inside of the Flint Kmart

The interior of the Flint Kmart paints a somber picture, showcasing signs of decay, vandalism, and neglect. The space is strewn with debris, dust, mold, and graffiti. Ceilings tiles sag, windows are shattered, and walls peel. While original fixtures like cash registers, shopping carts, shelves, and signs persist, much of the merchandise and inventory have been stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Evidence of fire damage, possibly due to arson or accidents, is also evident.

Notably eerie are remnants of books, papers, and school supplies, likely intended for donation to local schools or charities but left abandoned on the floor. Other items, such as clothing, toys, and electronics, are scattered around, possibly brought in by squatters or homeless individuals who used the store as shelter. Human activity is evident through handprints, footprints, and makeshift beds.

Another intriguing aspect is the attached Circle Grocery store, a smaller and more affordable alternative to Kmart, offering groceries, household items, and a deli. Abandoned and deteriorated like Kmart, it still contains some intact products and equipment, such as freezers, coolers, scales, and slicers. However, most food and beverages have spoiled, been consumed, or removed.

The Future of the Flint Kmart

The fate of the Flint Kmart remains uncertain, a vacant and decaying eyesore in the city. Owned by a private company, there are no announced plans for the site. The city of Flint has not taken action to redevelop or demolish the site, prioritizing other challenges. The location may continue to attract urban explorers, photographers, and thrill-seekers intrigued by its history and appearance, though entry is perilous and illegal, posing risks of injury, infection, and prosecution.

The Flint Kmart serves as a poignant reminder of the past glory and current struggles of both the retail chain and the city. It also stands as a testament to the evolving trends in American consumer culture and society. While the future of the Flint Kmart remains uncertain, it will forever be a part of the history and memory of Flint, Michigan.


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