I’m only posting this because I get a large amount of hits from people doing Google searches on K’s Merchandise Mart closing. It’s this old post that gets them here. Later it looked like the store was going to stay open but today we get this news (from the SJ-R):
After nearly 50 years, K's Merchandise Mart is going out of business and will close its 17 stores in the Midwest, including one in Springfield.Another former employer of mine bites the dust. I worked there the Christmas of 1988 during a brief period of professional unemployment. It was tough financially (I remember getting 10 cents above minimum wage because I was a college graduate!). Still, it wasn’t that bad a place to work, at least for being retail.
Liquidation sales begin Thursday at all K's stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri. Stores will be closed Wednesday in preparation for the sales.
Founded in Decatur in 1957, the family-owned K's grew into a regional operator of catalog showroom stores.
The Springfield store opened in 1976. Located at 3001 Wabash Ave., the store will remain open until all merchandise has been sold, the company said in a statement.
One of the worst or funniest or something moments working there came the day I ran into the former sheriff from the county in Northern Illinois where I used to work as a reporter. He had left there under a cloud of scandal and, I guess, relocated in or near Springfield. I had moved only recently leaving my job. We knew each other alright, but not that day.
There was a time when K’s was kind of big deal on the west side. But I think the massive growth of retail out west of K’s has overwhelmed it here. Sadly, its glory days gone, I’m not sure Springfield shoppers will miss it that much.