Once upon a time, 'tis true, practically all stores had these orange-painted walls.
Here are a couple styles of interior signs (going by my memory, which hopefully isn't failing me in the details). The orange/red/white signs would logically have been contemporaneous with the era of orange walls, while the white/red/black signs (I assume) are from the mid-to-late '80s.
The Princeton, WV Kmart store (R.I.P.) employed a mismatch of orange walls, old white/red/black signs, and older orange/red/white signs as late as 2000, when it closed. (I still miss that store today, although that's probably fodder for another thread.)
It's kind of funny, actually: In the latter half of the '90s, they went to the trouble of replacing the original exterior and roadway signs with the modern "white mart written inside red K" logo, yet they never bothered removing the ancient orange/red/white "Records" sign hanging over the CD racks, or indeed tinkering with the interior at all.
So, here are a few questions:
- Does anyone have a good idea of when Kmart's once-ubiquitous orange walls actually first began to be employed? I did come across this lively K mart commercial (allegedly from the late 1970s, although I wouldn't be surprised if it's older) where the interior walls are many things, but orange isn't one of them...
- Likewise, when were the orange walls last used? This video clip shows an interior with white walls detailed with thin black and red stripes by the ceiling line, so I assume the style changed at the same time that for interior signs did.
- Finally: Are there any Kmarts left in operation today that still feature orange walls, or indeed any interior decor from the 1980s and earlier? (I'm not optimistic given the conspiring effects of time, several waves of store closings, and the "Big K" conversions of a decade ago, but I figure anything's possible...)