Man buys out local Kmart, donates goods to charity
WINCHESTER, Ky. (WHDH) -- It may be spring, but one man is already playing the role of Santa for one Kentucky town, purchasing the remaining inventory at his local Kmart and proceeded to donate all the goods to a local charity.
“This is the largest donation we've ever received," Clark County Community Services director Judy Crow said.
The person playing summer Santa is local businessman Rankin Paynter.
"It was $200,000 at retail," Paynter said.
He was at the Kmart in Winchester a few weeks ago, buying things for his business.
"I said to the lady, 'what are you going to do with all this stuff that's leftover two days before you close?’" Paynter recalls.
They told him everything goes to Kmart power buyers, so he became one; six and a half hours and four cash registers later, Paynter had his fortune.
"To be honest with you, I could have made $30,000-$40,000 on it," he said.
Instead, he paid it forward.
"Certainly unexpected. Very unexpected,” Judy Crowe said. “A businessman are in business to make money."
Paynter's road to success wasn't always so smooth.
"It was hard sometime,” he said. “Tied rags around my feet sometimes too. I only had summer slippers."
Now at his age, he's also in the business of making people smile.
"This will be the first year we have enough hats and gloves for all the children we serve during Operation Happiness," Crowe said.
Paynter also rented a building to store the items to be used this winter.