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Something tells me that Kmart is getting desperate…

September 12, 2004, 12:10 AM

Something just tells me that the Kmart in Waynesboro is desperate for business. As I was leaving Wal-Mart this evening, I saw a row of picket-style signs stuck in the ground along Lucy Lane across from Wal-Mart. What did they say? Look at this mock-up of it that I did (it was too dark for a photo).

Kmart sign

These signs are indeed right across the street from Wal-Mart. Seems we at Wal-Mart have been doing something right, and we’re beating the pants off of the Big Kmart down the road. The two stores are out of sight of each other, and about a mile or two away.

So I figure that the Kmart in Waynesboro has maybe one Christmas left in it, if that. Whenever I drive by there, the parking lot looks practically deserted. Wally World’s lot, on the other hand, is always full.

Plus I get hideous service at the Waynesboro Kmart. I stopped by there one time for a soda. I came in. Their greeter was kinda so-so. I ran into a former coworker from my directory assistance days at CFW (later Telegate). We talked and caught up and such. I found the beverage I was looking for, and went over to the checkout. Now I must admit at this point, I was recognized by a kid who couldn’t have been more than three or four. “YOU WORK AT THE NEW WAL-MART!” So my cover was blown, and I was exposed at that point as working for the competition. But anyway, so I went to check out at the one open register (in the middle of the day at that!). The place is quiet enough to where you can hear a pin-drop. Still, the cashier wouldn’t speak to me nor even look pleasant for me! Talk about your service with a smile.

I’d say that the people at Kmart in Waynesboro laid the groundwork for their downfall themselves. Hideous service. I remember one time in 1998 trying to move a balance from one gift card to another over there. Not trying to get cash on any of them. No. I’m just trying to consolidate, as I had two gift cards from them and wanted to move the balance over. I tried it the direct way (could you transfer the balance from this card to this one?), and I also tried it the underhanded way (buying an item and then returning it and presenting the card with the balance for the refund). Neither one worked. And I thought I was so clever. Drat. I don’t remember how I ended up ultimately using up the cards, but they never did consolidate my cards.

Wal-Mart for the Waynesboro Kmart is just the final nail in the coffin, I believe.

Still, you can tell when an organization is desperate by their ads. That Kmart sign is one, but then this is something when I worked for Residence Life at JMU that came down for us to put up. Look at this:

"JM... it's not the same without U!"

This is from JMU’s Office of Residence Life. Their ad campaign for 2002 Resident Advisor selection was “JM… it’s not the same without U!” and looked like that which you see (for the most part). They had amazingly low turnout, and didn’t fill all their RA positions. So they were still accepting applications. In April of that year, more than a month after the selection process was supposed to be finished, they were still advertising for more people. They did finally get people to fill all the positions, but they did it by hiring some transfer students who were just as new to JMU as the freshmen they were living with!

I don’t know… I was just amazed to see that ad, because I think that’s equivalent to a public admission of “We’re desperate”.

I don’t know… it amuses me in a kind of evil way.

And JMU actually used the highly-unsuccessful “JM… it’s not the same without U!” ad campaign for a second year, which also amazed me. Usually when something bombs that badly, you ditch the old advertising. Weird…

Web site: Discussion thread: Does Kmart deserve to die?

Song: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. Think Viking Kittens.

Quote: "They didn't!" - Me in the car re: the signage across from Wally World.

Categories: JMU, Walmart