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Kmart. Essay

5929 words - 24 pages

"A Closer Look at the Kmart Corporation and Retail Stores"Kmart is moving forward with the kind of determination that would have made S.S. Kresge proud. The Company currently employs more than 170,000 associates, a far cry from the staff of 18 first employed at Kresge's five and dime. Kmart has a good business plan, a strong core portfolio of stores, customer loyalty earned over many years, and the will to succeed. As Kmart continues to operate stores across the country, customers can be assured that their communities will always have "the stuff of life" a broad selection of top-quality products at exceptional values.ScopeOnly five years after the Kmart Corporation was established under its new name, the company opened the 2,000th Kmart department store. Within a decade, Kmart underwent a major amount of growth. The company acquired the Walden Book Company, Home Centers of America, launched the Jaclyn Smith signature sportswear collection and purchased two other stores; the Sports Authority and OfficeMax. In 1990, Kmart also launched a new logo replacing the turquoise-colored "mart" with white lettering but keeping the large, red "K," making an effort to show Kmart's commitment to change.MethodsSixteen years after Kmart's incorporation, the company acquired Border, Inc. and entered the European market by purchasing 13 stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Two years later, Kmart launched a new line of exclusive clothes and swimwear in partnership with Kathy Ireland. That same year, Kmart sold 75 percent of its interest in The Sports Authority, OfficeMax and Borders, Inc. with completion of the sale by 1995.In 1997, Kmart introduced a new format of stores called the Big Kmart (also known as "Big K" stores) which included the addition of a new logo. In the same year, Kmart also launched a new line of bed and bath linens under the Martha Stewart brand name. Along with the changes in format of the stores and lines offered through Kmart, the company also began offering Kmart Cash Cards; electronic gift cards to facilitate gift giving and gift returns.From 1998 until 2002 when Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection, the company made many positive strides in reinforcing its position as a discount department store. Within the past five years, Kmart launched an E-commerce website called BlueLight.Com, expanded the Martha Stewart collection, offered a co-branded Kmart/MasterCard credit card, created a sole distribution partnership with Fleming foods, developed a partnership with Disney to sell an exclusive line of children's clothing and reintroduced the Blue Light Special which had been absent since 1991. By 2001, Kmart had combined BlueLight.Com with the Kmart stores and created an exclusive partnership with JOE BOXER.Over a period of 25 years, Kmart has made amazing changes in its branding, partnerships; offerings and customer perspective (please refer to Figure 1 for a timeline of Kmart's progression). Each change has had varying effects upon the...

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