Kmart’s mission is to earn consumer loyalty by providing quality merchandise at affordable prices while maintaining superior customer service.
In recent years, Kmart has established itself as the third leading discount retailer in the United States, following behind Wal-Mart and Target. Kmart’s low prices and array of product have appealed mainly to low-middle class families. Kmart has fallen from the glory days when it was the leading and only discount retail store on the block. After the opening of discount giant Wal-Mart in 1962, and second largest discount retail store Target in the same year, Kmart slowly began to enter the back of consumers’ minds. Kmart is mainly known for the Blue Light Special, which was first introduced in 1965, and then was retired approximately 30 years later for failing to appeal to consumers. Blue Light Specials were revived again in 2009 only to be offered on Saturdays for an hour long sale on certain merchandise. During the 1980s, the company's fortunes began to shift. Many of Kmart's stores were considered to be outdated and too numerous to manage. On January 22, 2002, Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the leadership of chairman Chuck Conaway and president Mark Schwartz. Later, Conaway accepted full responsibility for the financial disaster and blamed the companies loses on himself. After terminating Conaway and Schwartz, Kmart closed hundreds of stores in the United States and laid off thousands workers as part of refurbishing the company. After rebranding and renovating again, the new layout was advertised as having wider aisles, cleaner stores, and an improved selection. However, Kmart could not afford a complete rollout in all stores after bankruptcy. In 1994, Kmart closed 110 stores. Unlike its competitors Wal-Mart and Target, it had failed to invest in computer technology to manage its stores because they had no money to improve store quality. The main reason for closing the stores was due to the corporation failing to create a strong brand image. The rebranding and introduction of the first Big Kmart (Big K) occurred in 1997. Most Kmart stores were remodeled to the new logo introduction, but not all stores were remolded. On November 17, 2004, Kmart announced its merge with Sears. As a part of the unification, the Kmart Holdings Corporation changed its name to Sears Holdings Corporation. The new corporation announced that it would continue to operate stores under both the Sears and Kmart brand names. In November 2009, Kmart reported its first sales increase of 0.5 percent since 2005. Overview of History
Kmart is a mass merchandising company that has been around since the opening of its first store in 1962. Founder, Sebastian Kresage had the idea of starting a store back in 1899 with everything for five and ten cents for low costs to shoppers. That concept grew into what is now known as Kmart.
Kmart currently has 1,307 stores, including supercenters and discount stores, in 49 states in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The retail store carries a wide variety of products comprised of apparel, electronics, outdoor living, toys, and grocery. Kmart has also been known to converge with designers, such as Jaclyn Smith, Martha Stewart, and Kathy Ireland. Kmart’s services arrange from 981 in-store pharmacies, 20 auto centers, a lay-away program, and online to in-store pickups.
Throughout the store’s history, Kmart had an uphill battle to keep up with the modernization of retail. During the 1980s, stores were considered to be outdated and in bad condition. In 1990, Kmart released a new logo and business plan to try to enlarge and revamp stores with a five-year, $3.5 billion remodel. A year later, Kmart twenty-four hour supercenters emerged. Soon thereafter, Kmart opened Big Kmarts for cleaner, brighter, and easier ways to shop. Kmart had yet to invest in up-to-date computer technology,...
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