The Kmart store in my neighborhood closed last weekend. Now there’s a giant empty space in the Spirit Valley Mall in West Duluth, with a faded area above the doors where a sign once read: “Big Kmart.”
It took more than 30 years for the store to run itself out of business, and I’d probably need a degree in finance and a long look inside the books of parent company Sears Holdings Corporation to ever understand. How does a neighborhood’s only department store — a place that’s known for always having lines at the cash registers — go out of business?
The answer to that question might be that retail stores are struggling in general, and any store with massive overhead costs that provides a lousy shopping experience doesn’t stand a chance. And the West Duluth Kmart was a lousy shopping experience.
The lines at Kmart perhaps weren’t due to the high volume of traffic, but instead the understaffing at the store. Target or Wal-Mart might have a dozen checkouts open at once; Kmart seldom had more than two.
There doesn’t appear to be much information on the internet about the Duluth Eagles Club in general, much less the summer home shown on this old postcard. When were the Duluth Eagles formed? When did the club disband? Where is Grand View Beach / Aeire Lake? And where was the club’s main lodge in Duluth?
Perhaps the least-known Duluth song is by the Champaign, Ill.-based band Abort Scene. “Born Pinned to the Duluth Wheel” was released on the album Seeds of the Real Alternative (Waterloo Records, June 3, 2008). The track also appeared on the band’s 2013 compilation Rational Hardcore.