In 1967, the first S-Mart location was opened in Detroit Michigan by Theodore Smart. Originally a corner convenience store, it wasn’t until the 80s and 90s that Mr. Smart, joined by his son Theo Jr, expanded S-Mart into a popular discount department store chain. From coast to coast, Americans were offered great deals and friendly service, and everyone remembers the invitation to “Shop Smart… Shop S-Mart!” At its height, there were thirty-two S-Mart locations in eighteen states.
Things got difficult for S-Mart in the early 00s. As with many large stores, competition was fierce; national ‘box store’ brands were spreading across the country and the advent of internet shopping threatened to kill the good old locally owned and operated national chain. During the financial crisis of 2008, Theo Jr. made the difficult decision to sell his father’s brand. S-Mart was bought out and all existing stores were either closed outright or converted to Value-Mart locations.
This never felt right to Bradley Smart, son of Theo Jr. and grandson of Theodore Smart. He made it his personal mission to reclaim the S-Mart name. After attaining his MBA at Michigain State University, and thanks to the wise investments and guidance of his Aunt Ruby Smart, Bradley went on to reacquire the S-Mart name and original flagship location in Detroit. Since then, S-Mart has been on a roll! With locations in Elk Grove, Royal Oak, and Morristown TN, and more set to open, pretty soon the whole country will be shopping smart… at S- Mart!
A Personal Message
from Bradley Smart
I remember when I was just a kid, I would spend time with my grandfather at his original S-Martstore. Folks in the neighborhood new him as Old Teddy, and I think they came by to say hi and get a smile as much as they did for the magazines, bubblegum, and soda pop he sold. To me, that’s what S-Mart has always been; a place for neighbors and friends to come together as they make a neededstop on their busy day.
Not many places like that left in America today. Seems like everyone’s on the go, all the chains are national, and nobody’s got time to stop and say hello.
That’s why it was so important to me to reacquire the family brand. I don’t believe we have to sacrifice that personal touch in the name of convenience. I think we can grow a national chain that still focuses on friendliness, community, and delivers value to every customer in every market. This is S-Mart’s mission.
S-Mart is my family business, and to my Aunt Ruby and I each customer, each team member… is family. And we want you to join us! Come on down to your nearest S-Mart, say hello, and take a look at all the great deals! If there’s not an S-Mart in your town yet, don’t worry… we aim to be there soon!