If this was Kmart's final 6:00 a.m. Thanksgiving Day opening, the struggling retailer certainly didn't make it one to remember.
The Sears Holdings (SHLD) -owned discount chain -- which has opened for over 20 straight years on Thanksgiving Day -- saw sparse crowds at several locations TheStreet toured in Long Island, New York. Most folks in the store were picking up last minute items for their Thanksgiving Day dinner table, rather than the buy-one-get-one-free coats and sweaters Kmart had on offer. Kmart's electronics and toy sections were devoid of the deal-seekers that typically come out in force on Black Friday.
"Walmart (WMT) - Get Report has better deals," said one shopper TheStreet spoke with while waiting in line for the opening of a Kmart store. Another said she thought Best Buy (BBY) - Get Report and Target (TGT) - Get Report had better selections than Kmart in electronics and toys.
The commentary from consumers shouldn't come as a surprise.
Kmart second quarter same-store sales fell 3.3%, representing the seventh straight quarterly decline. Sales were pressed in some of Kmart's most important categories, such as pharmacy, groceries and consumer electronics.
Year to date, Kmart's operating loss is a staggering $125 million. Last year, Kmart produced an operating loss of $292 million compared to a loss of $422 million in the prior year. The retail chain -- known for its blue light special sales -- hasn't produced an operating profit since 2012, when it delivered a paltry $5 million in profit.
With the losses continuing to pile up at Kmart, Sears said in September it would close 64 more stores soon, or about 14% of its over 900 locations. Sears has shuttered more than 400 Kmart locations, or about a third of its stores, over the last five years.
Here are the haunting photos from multiple Kmart stores in the hours after what may be its final Thanksgiving Day opening.
Kmart's future is cloudy.
A total of nine people showed up at this Kmart for the 6:00 a.m. opening. The crowd sizes will look vastly different when Walmart, Target and Best Buy swing open their doors on the evening of Thanksgiving Day.
Nobody in line was running to find discounted stuff from Kmart's circulars. Normally, Black Friday crowds bum's rush departments looking for the doorbusters.
No fighting over the deals here at Kmart.
The camera person Kmart hired to snap photos of people shopping on Thanksgiving Day couldn't find anyone to photograph.
All that camera gear, no great photo ops.
Every register empty.
Dollars are not going in the till.
Kmart had a pretty sweet buy one get one free doorbuster deal on most of its apparel. Unfortunately, nobody showed up to shop.
Please, shop me.
Not a single shopper.
Where is everyone?
It's boot season, and Black Friday is when retailers deeply discount them in order to drive volume. Kmart had boots for sale. Nobody cared.
Let's go Yankees.
A single shopper navigates the empty home goods department.
One shopper, yes.
Virtually empty parking lot.
Some great parking spots left open at this Kmart.
Oddly enough, Kmart hired a good number of security guards for its Thanksgiving Day openings. Not too sure why, the stores lacked shoppers.
He needs something to do.
Despite fears Kmart would be absent many toys due to suppliers pulling back on shipments to the cash strapped Sears, the aisles were nicely stocked (for now). There weren't many shoppers, however.
Great Christmas display by Kmart. All it needs is some people interested in buying a tree here instead of Walmart.
Not even discounted winter coats brought the shoppers to Kmart.
Oh so warm.
We had to drop a Periscope -- if this is Kmart's final Thanksgiving Day opening, we wanted to have a digital memory.