walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Of Microwave Ovens and K-Mart

Recently, we had a guest for a few days (who we already miss). During I.'s visit, our microwave suddenly quit working. I put it on the counter, where R. dismantled it. He went to the hardware store, bought a fuse, restored it to very temporary working order, and it promptly broke again the first time we attempted to use it to heat something up (as opposed to just plug it in and set the clock).

The microwave entered R.'s life around the same time I did -- the second half of 2003 or thereabouts. He was prepared to replace it, but wanted to do some research first. I have a subscription to Consumer Reports online, so we pulled the ratings (this is so much better than the old-skool approach of keeping hardcopy magazines and paperback ratings collections from CR on the shelves). There is a K-mart very, very close to where we live (under a mile), and while I don't recall ever previously having shopped there, I figured they'd probably have the top-rated model, a Kenmore. But rather than take any unnecessary risk of entering a K-mart only to discover the item in question is not in stock or whatever, I checked online, first, where I learned that (a) K-mart has a very competent online store, at least for browsing purposes and (b) it includes a check-your-local-store-for-stock feature. That feature claimed there was one in stock, so I., A. and I went to investigate. I. and I got it off the shelf, through the checkout line and into the back of the Fit with no particular excitement beyond A. checking out the seasonal displays of Easter candy. At home, R. and I got it out of the car and plugged in where it has functioned perfectly since. It's quite nice; I like it better than the old one.

The K-mart itself has what looks like a relatively new POS. It is clean and orderly. There are a few but not excessive clearance items and the shelves are well-stocked with current merchandise. The tables out front are orderly, well-stocked with seasonal items. The physical furnishings -- counters and so forth -- of the store are incredibly old (badly damaged formica, type of thing) but clean and neat. The staff we met were competent and friendly.

If you haven't been in a K-mart in some years (decades?), and you're looking for something around the house, you might give them a try. Whoever is currently running that operation appears to no longer just be vampirically sucking the chain dry. I'm particularly happy about this, because the K-mart is a mile from my house, while the nearest Target and Costco are a half hour's drive away. Even with Prime shipping, a microwave from Amazon would not have landed on my doorstep before the following Tuesday and, more likely, Wednesday (that is, today).
Tags: daily activities, other reviews
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