In plain sight but hardly acknowledged, Kmart became a cave of hidden gems. Nabbing a deal at Kmart felt like finding change in between the couch cushions. You would not think to look there, but when you do the discovery gives you a pleasant jackpot.
If it was not already clear, I love Kmart for that reason. Whenever I wear something and people ask me where I got it, I live for their reaction when I tell them Kmart. Really? Yes, really. Kmart carries (well, carried) Nicki Minaj's clothing collection as well as Adam Levine and Selena Gomez at one point when she was still trying to break out as a musical artist. They also played an absolutely bangin' playlist jammed with 70s and 80s music, from Chaka Khan to Styx to Diana Ross to Madonna to Lionel Richie. All Night Long I would spend in Kmart, indeed. I even made a Spotify playlist inspired by Kmart's song lineup. Kmart actually has an interesting history with music and arguably contributed significantly to the creation of a new music genre known as vaporwave.
What was most thrilling about Kmart were their popularly known Blue Light Specials. Throughout the store, blue mobile lights hung on clothing racks or stood as pillars. Whenever a sale for a certain product or brand went live, the designated light for the sale items would go off, making everybody dash toward the blue siren. These sales happened at random, and when you saw a worker walking over to turn on a blue light, you knew something was about to go down. It felt like something out of the game Mall Madness, perfect for the ultimate consumerist thrill seeker.
I actually did not hear about my local Kmart closing myself. I received a text from my mom saying "Our Kmart is closing! *sad emoji* *shocked emoji* *emoji with a little ghost coming out of its mouth*." I could hardly believe it. I verified this news through the internet, and lo and behold, an article from my local news station revealed the sad, sad truth to me.
Such an attachment to a department store sounds shallow at best and pathetic at worst, but Kmart brings back a strong sense of nostalgia for me. Kmart reminds me of a five-year-old self tagging along with my mom on her errands, nestling in the children's clothing racks decorated with footie pajamas. In the summer, I always looked forward to (and still do, to be honest) the $1 six packs of Kool-Aid Bursts juice, those plastic bottles with the twist off tops. The drink tasted like the Popsicle juice of a lanky Fla-vor-ice Freezer Bar, and you cannot get more summer than that. Unfortunately, I could not find any six back of Kool-Aid whenever I went to Kmart this past summer.
So goodbye, local Kmart. I am sorry millennials are killing department stores, but know that I did, do, and will always appreciate your amazing deals and underrated clothing lines. Until next time.