Youtube channel owner “Vampire Robot” put up another video from what I assume to be a news video archive of B-roll footage. This video is from 1999 and was taken in Kmart, you know, back when Kmart still had thousands of stores throughout the United States.

As I look through these old shopping videos often posted on the Youtube channel, I can’t help but notice a few things. People seem to be calmer in general, but that could be because they’re in front of a large video camera lens, so admittedly they’re probably on their best behavior. But I also notice folks are dressed a little bit nicer than what we see today in the likes of Walmart or any smattering of grocery stores. You don’t see folks in sweat pants and other things that resemble bedwear. The stores also seem a little brighter and cleaner to me; I think that’s probably because today’s corporate approach to retail seems to be “make anything affordable look like a warehouse”. Where we used to have tile floors we now have shiny concrete. It’s cheaper. Cheaper investment leads to larger profits.

I think there’s three Kmart stores left in the United States. It’s a shame they’re gone, leaving us the choice of Walmart or Target in most cities and maybe a Walmart and one of the Dollar Store derivatives in smaller towns. Of course, there’s the higher end chains like Kohl’s and Nordstroms and Belk and the like, but middle-class, small town America deserves something more than what we have today.