Kmart started off as a discount retailer successfully pioneering the same concept as that of F. W. Woolworth. As stores began to grow and diversify, Kmart stepped in and took the lead role in offering a one-stop shopping center that fulfilled everyone's needs. As new niches began to emerge offering larger, more specialized stores, Kmart hit a major hurdle. The successful management strategies it had developed early on were now outdated and in major need of being renovated to coincide with changing market place and customer values. As Kmart attempted to revolutionize its image and infrastructure, stores such as Target and Wal-Mart took over as the leaders in the discount retailer arena. As Kmart's image began to sink along with its customer satisfaction, sales began to drop, ultimately resulting in Kmart declaring bankruptcy. After declaring bankruptcy on January 22, 2002, a new management team is ready to make a comeback with a well-defined position and once again become a strong, dynamic and profitable company. The biggest problem facing Kmart as it emerges from bankruptcy is how will it differentiate itself from its competitors in the very competitive discount retailer market?
Beginning in 1879, Kmart has been one of the largest discount retail stores. By 1950 the company needed a new direction and with the help of a new CEO, changed to become the Kmart brand that most of us are familiar with today. Decades later Kmart would again need to shift but would fail to provide a new direction that would successfully reposition the firm in the fiercely competitive environment. Kmart consists of both Kmart Discount Stores and Kmart Super centers. The Kmart Discount Store consists of general merchandise and convenience items. The Kmart Super adds to that a section for groceries. The store also handled merchandise through an e-commerce site, www.bluelight.com which is now www.kmart.com.
Kmart technology in the early years was