Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Laurel Mall

You'll recall that this month's featured Kmart was the location in the Laurel Mall in Hazleton, PA. And while that Kmart is now closing, the rather healthy mall remains open. This post will focus on the mall itself. 

The Laurel Mall originally opened in 1973 with Zayre and a store that was apparently known as "Fowler, Dick, and Walker, the Boston Store" as its anchors. Boscov's would take over the latter in 1981 while Ames would take the Zayre space in 1989. A new wing was constructed in 1993 which added JCPenney as an anchor. Also in 1993, Kmart took over the Ames space. JCPenney would close in 2014 and be replaced by Dunham's Sports while Kmart will close in the spring of 2018. TJ Maxx would open as a secondary anchor in 2017 after my visit here and pretty much take up the entire one side of the mall's storefronts in the Kmart wing.

The mall itself is actually doing really well. This is kind of surprising given that most other malls in the area (not counting the urban Wyoming Valley Malls) seem to be free falling into oblivion. The mall is supposedly near 96% occupied, though Kmart leaving will drop that percentage. However the mall is already taking steps to fill the soon to be vacant Kmart space. 

Well start with an exterior tour followed by interior shots.

The white wall to the right in this photo is the construction wall for what will be TJMaxx

GNC is tucked in between the construction

The center of the mall serves as a makeshift food court with tables for various restaurants. The escalators seen here lead to an underground parking garage.

One of the few empty storefronts I saw

I have no idea why Dunham's wasn't listed on the map.

Despite the recent announcement of losing Kmart as an anchor, I honestly don't think it will have a long-term impact on the mall. I can easily see something moving in or the Kmart being chopped into smaller stores. Things look pretty positive for this mall.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bluelight News Flash: Another Massive Wave of Closures

While this isn't shocking, it is getting to the point where one has to wonder how much longer Sears Holdings can continue to operate on. This wave has 100+ closings in it, so how much more stores can you cut?


Cabot, AR
Show Low, AZ 
Tolleson, AZ
Arroyo Grande, CA
Cudahy, CA
Ontario, CA
Redding, CA
Taft, CA
Colorado Springs, CO
Belleview, FL
Clermont, FL
Ocala, FL
Albany, GA
Statesboro, GA
Jesup, GA
Red Oak, IA
Urbandale, IA
Frankfort, IL
Mt. Vernon, IL
Rockford, IL
Bloomington, IN
Indianapolis, IN (Thompson Rd)
Wichita, KS
Paducah, KY
Mandeville, LA
Crofton, MD
Salisbury, MD
Greenville, MI
Richmond, MI
Butte, MT
Helena, MT
Franklin, NC
Jacksonville, NC
Sanford, NC
Salisbury, NC
Shelby, NC
Devils Lake, ND
Rochester, NH
Raton, NM
Tucumcari, NM
Las Vegas, NV (N Rancho Dr)
Las Vegas, NV (Las Vegas Blvd)
Plattsburgh, NY
Warren, OH
Enid, OK
Bridgeville, PA
Enola, PA
Franklin, PA
Harrisburg, PA
Hazleton, PA
Hermitage, PA
Honesdale, PA
Pittston, PA
Crossville, TN
Goodlettsville, TN
Greenville, TN
Portland, TX
Rutland, VT
Chehalis, WA
Clarksburg, WV
Huntington, WV
St. Albans, WV


Anchorage, AK (Mall at Sears)
Hanford, CA
Santa Clarita, CA
San Rafael, CA
Brea, CA
Westminster, CA
San Jose, CA
Wilmington, DE
Boca Raton, FL
Centerville, GA
Waterloo, IA
Coeur D Alene, ID
Twin Falls, ID
Bourbonnais, IL
Marion, IL
Orland Park, IL
Burlington, MA
Bangor, ME
Bismarck, ND
Toms River, NJ
Hicksville, NY
Kingston, NY
Cincinnati, OH
Springfield, OR
Portland, OR
Hanover, PA
Philadelphia, PA (Roosevelt Mall)
Pittsburgh, PA (Ross Park Mall)
Rapid City, SD
Austin, TX
Houston, TX (West Oaks Mall)
Midland, TX
Ogden, UT
Federal Way, WA
Shoreline, WA
Brookfield, WI
Green Bay, WI

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Kmart #7708

This mall-based '90s Kmart has quite the history. Originally, Kmart was formerly located at the site of a former Town & Country store within Hazleton. In the late '90s Kmart moved from this tiny 26,000 sq. ft. site to tripling in size at a 121,430 sq. ft. store in a former Ames store at the Laurel Mall. So with the history out of the way, let's get right into the store itself. 

Former Hazleton Kmart. Most recently was an Ollie's Bargain Outlet
Time for the interior!

A Little Caesars is operational here.

This is the only Kmart I know of to have a hair salon in it.

Mall entryway

Rating & Summary: 10 out of 10

I have really nothing negative to say about this store. An operational Little Caesars, a pharmacy and even a hair salon makes for a nice 1-stop shop. Not to mention this store serves as an anchor for a mall! 

From this post onwards, I will no longer be making a in-danger of closing section. It's become obvious to me that all stores, regardless of how well they may be doing, are in danger of closing.