Fuji Discovery 875 Zoom Plus: Attention Kmart Shoppers, or a Discount Department Store Photographic History – by Shawn Granton

Here’s a story down memory lane, triggered by a camera acquisition. The Fuji Discovery 875 Zoom Plus is pretty forgotten today, but it relates to a moment in my former life.

It’s hard to fathom now, but there was a time where Kmart was ubiquitous. No matter what part of the United States you went to, there’d be a Kmart somewhere. Founded in 1962, the chain popularized the concept of the discount department store–a well-rounded set of self service departments from clothing to garden supplies to housewares and so on, and everything priced lower than you’d find in a regular department store or mom and pop shop. At its peak Kmart had 2,400 stores. Now? Last I checked, the once mighty retailer (second behind Sears for much of the latter part of the 20th Century) is barely hanging on, having just 17–seventeen!–stores left. What was once part of the cultural fabric of America is barely a shell of its former self.