Some companies design their mascots from the get-go to look like a man in a suit. When I was a kid, the Putt-Putt mascot “Buster Ball” was a particularly solid example of this, with arms too short to hold a putter. As Happy Gilmore might suggest, he was too good for his home.
Here in America, Target and Kmart fight a bitter battle for the handful of consumers who have not welcomed their new Wal-Mart overlords.
In Australia, on the other hand, they are sister stores — Target is a little more upscale and Kmart still has their old 70s logo [freshened up a bit for the millenium, yes]. They are both owned by Australian retail giant Coles Myer.
I was waiting for someone to call them all on the carpet at once. I believe these are all published by actual companies. Someone might actually, or have at one point actually, put these program names on business cards or resumes.
I would like to point out that the next closest K-Mart store to the one I recently covered in these pages is in Commerce Township [MI].
Its road sign is a perfectly preserved relic from the olden days before the whole “Super Kmart” and “BIG Kmart” dichotomy. A huge, red “K,” leaning to the right, with huge, red, lowercase “mart” letters below it. If you get nostalgic for nighttime road signs in the 80s… um… here’s your sign? No, that’s not your sign.
Today, when I saw this. Or perhaps it was yesterday, when I bought this for $10, along with oneathem Nintendo Know Your Roots T-shirts. Sadly, I currently own neither an NES nor an Atari, though I have two of the vintage first-generation Game Boys. You know, the old Game Boy carts really do work on the GBA. They’re ugly as sin, but they work.
Some thoughts on the Prototype Kmart, M-59 @ Liz Lake Rd., White Lake Township [MI]:
I like the modified Kmart logo. It’s the “big K,” but the straight part is grey and the arms of the K form a green arrow over it, and the cursive “mart” is smaller and inside the green part. Did that make any sense? This logo supersedes the red K on all permanent signage, in some cases literally pasted over the red K on elements shared with other Kmart stores. A black and white version [black K, white “mart”] appears on the register receipt. Exceptions: temporary [i.e. weekly sale] signage and fliers, on the soap dispensers in the bathroom, and on price tags for individual items [it would probably not be cost effective to print green price tags for one location]. The checkout clerks were wearing green vests, other store employees were not, though I believe I saw the Entertainment clerk wearing grey.
There is a big aisle in front of the entrance with featured items in it, presumably to grab your attention as you come in the door. The rest of the store radiates out from there. [The photo in the linked article is of the southwest corner of the store, facing west.] The inner walls of the store were lined with cute slogans you would imagine people saying in Kmart TV ads while an instrumental loop of Nico’s “These Days” plays:
“Parenthood would be fabulous if it weren’t for the damned kids.”
“Don’t cry over spilt milk, paper towels are cheap.”
“Why wait out the headache? Self-medicate.”
“Feet grow — shoes don’t.”
“Lowe’s is for sissies. Your Dad bought his lightbulbs here.”
Some of those are the actual slogans on the walls and some I made up. Take a guess.
I bought a Jabra cellphone headset — you know, the in-your-ear kind with the brightly shaped gels that mold to your ear — for $2.00 on clearance. It’s the kind with the mike on the cord. They also had the EarBoom [mike on a little stick], but it’s only marked down to $20, which is barely a clearance price at all. I also bought lightbulbs for my car tail lights [actually, my dad would’ve gone to Murray’s for those, but auto parts places intimidate me the way computer stores intimidate normal people]. So here’s $4 toward the Save K-Mart fund.