Kmart is a chain of big box department stores headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The chain purchased Sears for $11 billion in 2005, forming a new corporation under the name Sears Holdings Corporation. At it's peak in 2000, Kmart operated 2,171 stores including 105 Super Kmart Center locations. For the 2005 fiscal year under the new company, the Kmart store count was at 1,416 with only 55 Super Kmart Center locations. Currently, the chain is operating 734 stores with only 1 "Super Center" location remaining (Store #4939 in Warren, OH). This number will decrease further due to the previously announced closings that will take place in the first quarter of 2017.
|Founder||S. S. Kresge|
|Headquarters||Troy, Michigan, United States (1962-2004)
Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States (2005-present)
Number of locations
|624 (Q1 2017)|
|Products||Clothing, shoes, linen and bedding, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, toys, food.|
|Revenue||US$25.146 billion (2015 SHC)|
|Parent||Sears Holdings Corporation
Kmart had became known for it's Blue Light Specials: they occurred at surprise moments when a store worker would light up a mobile police light and offer a discount in a specific department of the store, while announcing the discounted special over the store's public address system. At the height of Kmart's popularity, the phrase "Attention Kmart shoppers!" entered into the American pop psyche, appearing in films and other media such as Troop Beverly Hills, Six Days Seven Nights, Rain Man, Beetlejuice, Madea Goes to Jail, and Dawn of the Dead.
Kmart's world headquarters were located in Troy, Michigan, in Metro Detroit. subsequent to the completion of the purchase of Sears, headquarters have been located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. An independent entity calling itself Kmart operates in Australia and New Zealand (see Kmart Australia), it has no relation to the American stores except in name: the Australian business was purchased in the late 1970s.
S. S. Kresge, the founder of the company that would become Kmart, met variety store pioneer Frank Winfield Woolworth while working as a traveling salesman and selling to all 19 of Woolworth's stores at the time. In 1897 Kresge invested $8,000 (equivalent to $230 thousand in 2017) saved from his job in joint ownership with his friend John McCrory of a five and dime store in Memphis, to which they added another in downtown Detroit the following year; these were the first S.S. Kresge stores. After two years of partnership, he paid McCrory $3,000 (equivalent to $86.4 thousand in 2017) and gave up his share in the Memphis store for full ownership of the Detroit store, and formed the Kresge & Wilson Company with his brother-in-law, Charles J. Wilson.
In 1912, Kresge incorporated the S.S. Kresge Company with eighty-five stores. The company was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 23, 1918. During World War I, Kresge experimented with raising the limit on prices in his stores to $1 (equivalent to $16.00 in 2017). By 1924, Kresge was worth approximately $375 million (equivalent to $5.24 billion in 2017) and owned real estate of the approximate value of $100 million (see Farid-Es-Sultaneh v. Commissioner, 160 F.2d 812 (2d Cir. 1947)). Early century growth remained brisk, with 257 stores in 1924 growing to 597 stores operating in 1929. Kresge retired as president in 1925. The Great Depression reduced profitability and resulted in store closings, with the number reduced to 682 in 1940. After the war shopping patterns changed and many customers moved out of the cities into the suburbs. The Kresge company followed them and closed and merged many urban stores so that by 1954 the total number of stores in the US had declined to 616.
Under the leadership of executive Harry Cunningham, S.S. Kresge Co. opened the first Kmart store on March 1, 1962, in Garden City, Michigan, just four months before the first Walmart opened. This store is no longer in operation as of March 2017. Eighteen Kmart stores opened that year. Kmart Foods, a now-defunct chain of Kmart supermarkets, opened in that decade. Company founder Kresge died on October 18, 1966.
Around the time of the opening of the first Kmart, some poorly performing S.S. Kresge stores were converted to a new "Jupiter Discount Stores" brand, which was conceived as a bare-bones, deep discount outfit. During the 1970s, Kmart put a number of competing retailers out of business. Kresge, Jupiter and Kmart stores had their main competition from other variety chains such as Zayre, Ames, Bradlees, Hills and those operated by MMG-McCrory Stores (McCrory, McLellan, H.L. Green, J.J. Newberry, S.H. Kress, TG&Y, Silver's and eventually G.C. Murphy Co.). In 1977, S.S. Kresge Company changed its name to Kmart Corporation.
In 1987, the Kmart Corporation sold its remaining Kresge and Jupiter stores in the United States to McCrory Stores, and the brands were almost entirely discontinued, although Canadian Kresge and Jupiter stores continued to operate until 1994.
Until November 1990, when it was passed by Walmart, Kmart was the second largest retailer in the US, after Sears. During the 1980s, the company's fortunes began to change; many of Kmart's stores were considered to be outdated and in decaying condition. In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, the corporate office shifted much of its focus from the Kmart stores to other companies it had acquired or created, such as Sports Authority, Builders Square, and Waldenbooks.
The original Blue Light Special, first introduced in 1965, was retired in 1991. The company brought back the Blue Light Special in 2001, but again discontinued it in 2002. The concept was briefly revived in 2005, though Kmart at that time had no plans to use the concept long-term. Blue Light Specials were revived again in 2009 on Saturdays, offering surprise hour-long sales on selected merchandise, but were discontinued again. Blue Light Specials were revived once again in November 2015.
1990–2001: New imageEdit
In 1990, in an effort to update its image, Kmart introduced a new logo. It dropped the old-style italic "K" with a turquoise "mart" in favor of a red block letter K with the word "mart" written in script and contained inside the K. Kmart then began remodeling stores shortly thereafter, but most were not remodeled until the mid-1990s, and some have not been completely renovated yet. This logo was replaced in 2004 with the current logo. In the very early 1990s, Little Caesars Pizza opened its first in-store Kmart restaurants. Coincidentally, both Little Caesars and Kmart were founded in Garden City, Michigan in 1959 and 1962 respectively. In the early 1990s, Kmart also tried to reinvent itself by using the short-lived name Today's Kmart.
The company also began to offer exclusive merchandise by Martha Stewart, Kathy Ireland, Jaclyn Smith, Lauren Hutton, and Thalía. Other recognizable brands included exclusively licensed merchandising of products relating to Sesame Street and Disney. Actress and television personality Rosie O'Donnell and actor/director and producer Penny Marshall became among the company's most recognized spokespersons.
Super Kmart Center (Super Kmart) opened an all-new location in 1991 in Medina, Ohio, featuring a full-service grocery store and general merchandise. However, this location was downsized in 2011 and was one of a number of Kmarts closed in early 2012 due to dismal Christmas 2011 sales. The second ground-up Kmart Super Center opened in Montrose, Ohio, featuring the chain's first full-scale video rental center and a carryout Chinese restaurant. This location has also closed. As of April 2017, one Kmart Super Center remains open in Warren, Ohio.
Big Kmart opened in Chicago, Illinois, on April 23, 1997. The format focuses on home fashions, children's apparel and consumables (Pantry). Most Kmart stores were remodeled to this format during the 1990s and most of them are still open, but some have been converted into regular Kmart stores.
The Sports Authority was acquired by Kmart in 1990 and spun off 5 years later.
Kmart's profitability and sales peaked in 1992 and have since declined due to competition with Walmart, Target, and Internet shopping. In 1994, Kmart closed 110 stores. Unlike its competitors Walmart and Target, it had failed to invest in computer technology to manage its supply chain. Furthermore, Kmart maintained a high dividend, which reduced the amount of money available for improving its stores. Many business analysts also faulted the corporation for failing to create a coherent brand image.
2002–09: Collapse and merger with SearsEdit
On January 22, 2002, Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under the leadership of its then-chairman Chuck Conaway and president Mark Schwartz. Conaway, who had had success building up the CVS Corporation, had accepted an offer to take the helm at Kmart along with a loan of $5 million (equivalent to $6.66 million in 2017). In a scandal similar to that involving Enron, Conaway and Schwartz were accused of misleading shareholders and other company officials about the company's financial crisis while making millions and allegedly spending the company's money on airplanes, houses, boats and other luxuries. At a conference for Kmart employees January 22, Conaway accepted "full blame" for the financial disaster. As Kmart emerged from bankruptcy, Conaway was forced to step down and was asked to pay back all the loans he had taken.
After dismissing Conaway and Schwartz, Kmart closed more than 300 stores in the U.S., including all the Kmart stores in Alaska, and laid off around 34,000 workers as part of the restructuring process. Kmart introduced five prototype stores with a new logo, layout, and lime green and gray color scheme, one in White Lake Township, Michigan, a quasi-rural community near Detroit, Michigan, and four in central Illinois: (Peoria, Pekin, Morton and Washington). The new layout was touted as having wider aisles and improved selection and lighting, and the city or town's name was featured under the new Kmart logo at the front entrance. However, Kmart could not afford a full-scale rollout. The lime green prototype was abandoned for the new Kmart "orange" concept that rolled out at nine test stores throughout the U.S.
While the company was in bankruptcy, a significant amount of Kmart's outstanding debt was purchased by ESL Investments; a hedge fund controlled by Edward Lampert. Lampert worked to accelerate the bankruptcy process. On May 6, 2003 Kmart emerged from bankruptcy protection as Kmart Holdings Corporation. On June 10, 2003, it began trading on the NASDAQ with the ticker symbol KMRT with Lampert as chairman and ESL Investments controlling 53% of the new company for an investment of less than $1 billion. Lampert dismissed concerns that the smaller company would be at a disadvantage stating "The focus that a lot of people have in retail revolves around sales, but sales without profit do not allow a business to be successful in the long term." He began to improve the company's balance sheet by reducing inventory, cutting costs, and closing underperforming stores. By the fourth quarter of 2003, Kmart posted its first profitable quarter in three years, although it has since returned to an operating loss.
On November 17, 2004, Kmart announced its intention to purchase Sears for $11 billion. As a part of the merger, the Kmart Holdings Corporation would change its name to Sears Holdings Corporation. The new corporation announced that it would continue to operate stores under both the Sears and Kmart brands. Around this time, Kmart changed its logo from a red K with the script "mart" inside to a red block letter K with the chain's name in lowercase letters below it. Kmart's headquarters were relocated to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and in 2012 the sprawling headquarters complex in Troy, Michigan, was acquired by the Forbes Company, which owns the nearby upscale mall, Somerset Collection. No concrete plans for redevelopment of the site have been announced.
In 2005, the company began renovating some Kmart stores and converting them to the Sears Essentials format, only to change them later to Sears Grands.
Kmart started remodeling stores to the "Orange" prototype in 2006. The typical white and blue interior of the stores was changed to orange and brown, and shelf heights were lowered to create better sightlines. The remodeled stores contain an appliance department with Kenmore Appliances and most have hardware departments that sell Craftsman tools, which prior to the merger had been exclusive to Sears stores. Some auto centers left vacant by Penske after Kmart filed for bankruptcy have been converted to Sears Auto Centers. 280 stores as of 2009 have been remodeled to this new prototype. For most of these stores, Kmart retired the "Big Kmart" logo and replaced it with the current logo. In some of the larger stores the old logo is still in use.
In July 2009, Sears Holdings opened its first Sears-branded appliance store inside a Kmart. The 4,000 sq ft (370 m2) store-within-a-store opened inside the former garden department of a Birmingham, Alabama, Kmart. It is two-thirds the size of the appliance department in most Sears stores, but larger than the 2,500 sq ft (230 m2) appliance department in remodeled Kmart stores.
In October 2009, it was reported that Kmart and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia failed to come to a new agreement. This came after Stewart made remarks on CNBC that her line at Kmart had deteriorated, particularly after the Sears merger.
In November 2009, Kmart reported its first year-over-year sales increase of 0.5% since 2005, and only the second such increase since 2001.
2010–present: Continued declineEdit
On December 27, 2011, after a disastrous holiday sales season, Sears Holdings announced that 100 to 120 of Sears/Kmart stores would close.
In 2014, news reports indicated that Kmart was closing dozens of stores across the United States. Kmart's parent company Sears Holdings Corporation underwent financial distress throughout the year, sparking an unspecified number of closings to Sears and Kmart locations amid vendors and lenders concerns about its liquidity. Along with store closings, measures included the spinning off its Lands' End division, selling most of its stake in Sears Canada, issuing debt and taking on loans that cumulatively put it on track to raise $1.445 billion in cash in 2014. Howard Riefs, a company spokesman who has often spoken on behalf of Kmart, has said: "Store closures are part of a series of actions we're taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model."
On October 10, 2014, Kmart was victim of a data breach concerning customers' credit and debit card information. Kmart confirmed on October 19, "Based on the forensic investigation to date, no personal information, no debit card PIN numbers, no email addresses and no social security numbers were obtained by those criminally responsible. There is also no evidence that kmart.com customers were impacted. This data breach has been contained and the malware has been removed. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our members and customers."
In January 2015, Kmart agreed to pay $102,048 and other consideration to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disability discrimination lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Kmart offered a job at its Hyattsville, Maryland, store to a candidate with kidney disease on dialysis. The candidate advised the hiring manager that he could not provide a urine sample for the company's mandatory pre-employment drug screening because of his medical condition, and requested a reasonable accommodation such as a blood test or other drug test that did not require a urine sample; Kmart refused to provide an alternative test and denied the candidate employment.
In December 2016, at least 25 Kmart locations were targeted for closure in early 2017. In January 2017, Kmart announced a further 78 stores would close, including the first Kmart location in Garden City, MI. In May 2017, Kmart announced an additional 18 stores would close.  Sears Holdings themselves revealed uncertainties as to if both Sears and Kmart will survive.  In early June 2017, Kmart announced an additional 49 stores across the U.S. were planned to be shuttered by September 2017. Financial analysts are now warning that the fate of Sears Holdings is nearing its end.
Kmart's original logo used until 1990. It is still used at some older stores. This logo was also used by Kmart Australia from 1969 until 1991.
|This section does not cite any sources. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
In May 2007, Sears Holdings Corporation named a new mascot and spokesperson for Kmart called Mr. Bluelight. Named after Kmart's well-known "Blue Light Specials", Mr. Bluelight is a talking cartoonish blue light bulb who gives customers ideas to help them make the most of their Kmart experience. Mr. Bluelight has appeared in several television commercials. Specials associated with Mr. Bluelight inside Kmart stores are advertised as "Blue Light Finds" (marked-down merchandise) and "Best of Blue" (higher-end products, often brand-name). In late 2011, Kmart retired Mr. Bluelight.
|This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2013)|
The owner of Kmart, Sears Holdings Corporation, has had its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois just outside of Chicago since 1993 when it moved out of the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago. Kmart has been in the Hoffman Estates Headquarters since Kmart bought Sears in 2004.
The headquarters used to be located in the Kmart International Headquarters at 3100 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy, Michigan in Metro Detroit. The facility had 23 interconnected modules. Each had three stories, except for one module, which was one story. Based on the layout, Norm Sinclair of DBusiness concluded that it was "a study in inefficiency".
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Kmart is a chain of discount department stores that are usually free-standing or located in strip malls. They carry compact discs (CDs), DVDs, TV shows on DVD, electronics, bedding, household hardware, sporting goods, clothing, toys, jewelry, office supplies, health and beauty products, over-the-counter medications, home decor, and a limited selection of food items. Many stores also have a garden center, a Jackson Hewitt tax center, a pharmacy, and usually a K-Cafe or a deli serving Nathan's Hot Dogs and pizza. Kmart stores range from 80,000–110,000 sq ft (7,400–10,200 m2). Some of these stores were converted into Super Kmart, and most of them were either converted to or rebranded as Big Kmart.
- Big Kmart is a chain of discount department stores that carry everything a regular Kmart carries, but with an emphasis on home decor, children's clothing, and more food items such as meat and poultry, baked goods, frozen foods and an extended, but limited section of garden produce; however, they do not feature a bakery, a delicatessen, or fresh seafood. Big Kmart stores range from 84,000–120,000 sq ft (7,800–11,100 m2). Big Kmart stores also feature a garden center, a pharmacy, a branch of a local bank, a Jackson Hewitt tax center, an Olan Mills portrait studio, an arcade, a K-Cafe or Little Caesars Pizza station, and sometimes a Kmart express gas station. As noted above, Kmart rolled the Big Kmart brand out almost companywide when it was introduced in 1997. Since the merger with Sears, several Big Kmart stores have returned to their traditional Kmart form, but there are still a lot of remaining Big Kmart stores across the U.S. Some of the smaller stores were converted into regular Kmart stores.
- Super Kmart Center was a chain of superstores that carried everything a regular Kmart carries, but also had a full grocery section with meat and poultry, baked goods, a delicatessen, garden produce, and fresh seafood. As of December 11, 2016, the only Super Kmart Center in operation is located in Warren, Ohio, no longer making the Super Centers a chain. Super Kmart Center stores ranged from 140,000 to 190,000 sq ft (13,000 to 18,000 m2). A few stores that were built in the late 1990s were known instead as Super Kmart. Super Center stores also featured a garden center, a video rental store, a branch of a local bank, an arcade, a portrait studio, a Jackson Hewitt tax center, a pharmacy, and usually a deli cafe or Little Caesars Pizza station. Many of these services have been closed and discontinued in recent years. Several locations also included Kmart Express gas stations, and most had an auto center. Most Kmart Super Centers were closed during the two rounds of closures in 2002 and 2003, and many more had their groceries taken out, converting them into regular Kmart locations. A typical Super Center sold around $30 million of merchandise during one fiscal year. In 2015, some stores were converted into a regular Kmart with a concept called K-Fresh. A Kmart with a K-Fresh features an expanded pantry and a fresh food department. These types of fresh items are no longer prepared on-site and will instead come to the store prepackaged. In addition, The deli, butcher and bakery operations will be shut down.
- KDollar is a chain of discount stores/dollar stores, that sell Kmart merchandise at a discount. The stores are often former Kmart or Big Kmart stores that have been converted to the KDollar concept. Sears Brands filed for a trademark on the KDollar name on November 6, 2012. The first one opened in a converted Kmart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2013. A second KDollar store opened in Waukegan, Illinois.
- K-Café is an in-store restaurant that serves a fairly standard menu of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and such other sandwiches as grilled cheese and Philly cheesesteaks. They also offer a full breakfast menu of baked goods, bagels and egg platters with bacon or sausage and such snacks as nachos, pretzels, popcorn and ice cream. In addition to the cafe's menu, hot food items can also be purchased at the deli and eaten in the Deli Cafe at Super Kmart Center stores. However, K-Café has been discontinued in some stores.
- Kwash is an attached to store laundromat launched in May 2010. Only one such prototype exists. It is in a former auto bay in Iowa City, Iowa. It features a separate entrance, laundromat attendants and free wi-fi along with a limited selection of laundry goods available for purchase.
- Kmart Express is a chain of gas stations/convenience stores that are located in out-parcels at some Kmart and Super Kmart stores, particularly in the Midwestern U.S. In the early 2000s there were plans to expand this concept to most Kmart stores, but the plans for more locations were canceled after Kmart's bankruptcy in 2002.
- K-Fresh is a chain of stores that has expanded pantry and fresh department. The stores are in Big Kmart, and Super Kmart locations that have been converted to the K-Fresh concept. The first one opened in a converted Big Kmart in Norridge, Illinois, while a second one opened at a converted Big Kmart in Kahului, Hawaii. K-Fresh serves as a relaunch of the Big Kmart concept as it was meant to be in the late 1990s.
- Kmart Dental is an in-store dental office that is located in Kmart stores. There is only one such prototype in a Kmart store, which is located in Miami, Florida.
- American Fare was a chain of hypermarkets that opened in January 1989. American Fare was a joint venture between Kmart (which owned 51 percent), and Birmingham, Alabama-based Bruno's Supermarkets. The first store opened near Atlanta, Georgia. American Fare's 244,000 sq ft (22,700 m2) of retail space included 74,550 sq ft (6,926 m2) of groceries, 104,000 sq ft (9,700 m2) of general merchandise, and 35,000 sq ft (3,300 m2) of clothing (including apparel, footwear, and accessories). An area in the front of the store housed a music and video store, a food court, bank, hair salon, pharmacy and a card store. Charlotte, North Carolina, was home to the second American Fare, which opened in late 1989 with 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2) of retail space. A third and final store opened in Jackson, Mississippi. In June 1992, Bruno's announced that its partnership with the Kmart Corporation was being terminated, and that Kmart would assume ownership of the three stores. The Charlotte, NC store was converted to Super Kmart and then closed in 2002. The American Fare brand is used on some Kmart store brand consumable products.
- Builders Square was a home improvement superstore. In 1997, it was sold to Hechinger, which went out of business in 1999.
- Borders Books was a chain of book stores acquired by Kmart in 1992. In 1994, Borders merged with the Kmart chain Waldenbooks to form Borders-Walden Group, which was sold in 1995. In February 2011, Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced plans to liquidate in July after failing to find a buyer to keep the chain's remaining 399 stores in operation. The remaining stores closed in September.
- Designer Depot: A discount clothing store chain operated in Metro Detroit in the 1980s.
- Kmart Chef restaurants were a small chain of free-standing fast-food restaurants owned by Kmart, started in 1967 with the first location on the parking lot of a Kmart in Pontiac, Michigan. The "limited, high-turnover menu" (as Kmart founder S.S. Kresge put it) consisted of fast foods such as burgers, French fries, hot dogs, and soft drinks. The Kmart Chef chain folded in 1974 after peaking at eleven locations.
- Kmart Food Stores was a supermarket chain founded in 1962. Most Kmart Food locations were together with Kmart stores, often operated by a local grocery chain but always branded as Kmart Food. The chain was discontinued in the early 1980s.
- Makro, a Dutch warehouse club chain, opened locations in the U.S. in the late 1980s. Kmart bought the chain's entire American holdings in 1989, having owned a 49 percent share before. The Makro stores were later converted to Pace or closed in 1990.
- OfficeMax is a chain selling office supplies and office furniture which was acquired in 1991 and sold in 1995.
- Office Square was a chain selling office supplies and office furniture which was a spin-off of Builders Square. In 1991, OfficeMax was acquired by Kmart and Office Square was merged into OfficeMax stores.
- Pace Membership Warehouse was Kmart's warehouse club brand, until the chain was purchased by Walmart. In 1993, Walmart converted most of the stores into its Sam's Club brand, and sold others to chains such as Bradlees.
- PayLess Drugs was a chain of drug stores acquired by Kmart in 1985 and later sold to TCH Corporation in 1994. The resulting entity, Thrifty PayLess was acquired by Rite Aid in 1996, which converted all of the PayLess and Thrifty stores into Rite Aid stores in 1999. The PayLess division also owned Bi-Mart, which was spun off along with sister stores such as Pay 'n Save.
- The Sports Authority was a chain of sporting goods stores which was acquired in 1990 and sold in 1995. Sports Authority went out of business in 2016.
- U-Pak. A "no frills" supermarket which sold items out of boxes instead of on shelves, and featured reduced hours. The only one opened adjacent to a Kmart on Opdyke Boulevard in Pontiac, Michigan in 1979 and closed less than a month later due to poor sales.
- Variety Outlet. A closeout chain, typically operated out of closed Kmart stores. The first opened in Rome, Georgia in 1994.
- Waldenbooks was a chain of primarily shopping mall-based book stores which was acquired in 1984. In 1994, Kmart chain Borders merged with Waldenbooks to form Borders-Walden Group, which was sold in 1995. (The company was subsequently renamed Borders Group, and went out of business in 2011.)
- BlueLight internet service In 1999 Kmart began offering a dial-up internet service called BlueLight, which was eventually spun off as an independent company. BlueLight was initially free and supported by banner ads. BlueLight dropped the free service in February 2001 and was reacquired by Kmart in July 2001. In 2002 United Online, which also owns NetZero and Juno, bought the BlueLight service after Kmart filed for bankruptcy. In August 2006, Bluelight dropped the banners. In August 2006, the service cost $14.95 a month and had around 165,000 subscribers.
Kmart for Kids is the umbrella program for Kmart's philanthropic initiatives. The program helps children across the country live happier, healthier lives through the support of: March of Dimes, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and American Diabetes Association. Kmart is March of Dimes' number 1 corporate sponsor, having raised $114 million for the charity over more than 30 years.
On July 29, 2008, Don Germano, SVP/GM of Kmart stores, was elected to a five-year term on the national Board of Trustees of the March of Dimes Foundation.
Kmart for Kids supports St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital through its annual Thanks and Giving campaign, an opportunity for Kmart customers to give thanks for the healthy children in their lives and give to help those who are not. Kmart has been a partner of the campaign since 2006 and as of December 2008[update] had raised more than $59.2 million (equivalent to $65.9 million in 2017) for St. Jude's. A record $21.9 million (equivalent to $22.5 million in 2017) was donated for the tenth annual fundraising campaign during the 2013 holiday season.
In 2008, Kmart earned the "Outstanding Corporate Citizen" Award for its support of the American Diabetes Association's "Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes" program. The tribute honors Kmart for the most well-developed, proactive program in the areas of charity, community Development, Diversity, philanthropy, and associate development. In 2008 Kmart became a national sponsor of "Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes" and over the past two years, Kmart's customers and associates have raised approximately $1.5 million (equivalent to $1.78 million in 2017) through its in-store campaigns.
On May 9, 2007, Kmart was penalized $102,422 (equivalent to $118 thousand in 2017) for violations of federal hazardous waste, clean water, emergency planning and preparation regulations at 17 distribution centers. Kmart corrected the violations by preparing and implementing spill prevention control and countermeasure plans, applying for appropriate storm water permits, complying with hazardous waste generator requirements, and submitting reports to state and local emergency planning and response organizations informing them of the presence of hazardous substances. The Environmental Protection Agency also accused Kmart of not maintaining adequate information and failing to act in accordance with hazardous waste storage and disposal requirements. For instance, the EPA reported having discovered improperly labeled oil storage drums at a location in Falls, Pennsylvania.
Out of concern for the environment, Kmart promoted battery recycling. In 1990, Kmart even proposed spending about $80 million (equivalent to $147 million in 2017) on full-page newspaper advertisements offering to recycle junk batteries for $2 (equivalent to $4.00 in 2017) each.
In 2012, Kmart and Sears began allowing customers who are members of their Shop Your Way Rewards program to receive receipts by e-mail, eliminating paper waste and cutting down on the usage of ink.
Animal welfare concernsEdit
In 2012, Mercy for Animals, a non-profit organization working against cruelty to farmed animals, conducted an infiltration at Christensen Farms, a pork supplier to Kmart, Walmart, and Costco, obtaining hidden-camera footage of pigs confined in small gestation crates and cruelty to piglets. In response to Mercy For Animals' infiltration, Kmart announced it would begin requiring its pork suppliers to phase out gestation crates.
Kmart was a prominent sponsor in NASCAR and the now defunct CART series. They were a longtime sponsor of Newman/Haas Racing, owned by actor Paul Newman and former racer Carl Haas. Their CART drivers included Nigel Mansell and the father-son duo of Michael and Mario Andretti. Michael Andretti and Mansell won championships under Kmart sponsorship, in 1991 and 1993, respectively. The store also sponsored the NASCAR-sanctioned Kmart 400 at Michigan and North Carolina Speedway. Lake Speed garnered Kmart's first win in NASCAR in 1988 at the Darlington Raceway. K-Mart sponsored three-time champion Darrell Waltrip in 1999 and 2000, his last two full-time seasons. Most recently, in NASCAR, the store sponsored Boris Said's #60 No Fear Ford Fusion in 2006.
Kmart was also once a major presence in Canada, with its first Kresge store opening in 1929. Kmart closed 5 Montreal stores and several other Quebec stores in 1983 due to the company restructuring. Kresge ceased to exist in Canada in 1994. However, as a result of Kmart's ongoing financial difficulties, the Canadian division comprising 112 stores was sold to competitor Zellers of the Hudson's Bay Company in May 1998, after which the stores were either closed or converted to Hudson's Bay Company brands, mostly Zellers.
- The Saving Place 1960s-1990
- Your Lowest Price is a Kmart Price 1990–1998
Australia and New ZealandEdit
Kmart Australia was born out of a joint venture between G.J Coles & Coy Limited (Coles) and S.S. Kresge Company, with Kresge owning 51% of the common stock in the company. The first Australian store opened in 1969, and stores later opened in New Zealand. Kresge later exited this partnership. The Australian and NZ Kmart stores are owned by Wesfarmers.
In 1992, Kmart purchased several communist-era department stores in Eastern Europe, including 13 in the former Czechoslovakia that were bought from the former Czechoslovak government. One of those stores was the old MÁJ department store on Národní Třída in Prague. Many of these outlets were quite profitable, with the Bratislava location setting a single store sales record for the company. But Kmart's larger troubles in the U.S. caught up with its European operations later in the decade. In March 1996, The Kmart Corporation announced that it had agreed to sell the six Kmart stores in the Czech Republic and the seven in Slovakia to Tesco P.L.C. of Britain for about $117.5 million (equivalent to $179 million in 2017), to focus on its core operations in North America.
Also in the 1990s, Kmart opened four stores in Mexico, in partnership with the Mexican retailer Liverpool. All were supercenters, and the locations were all suburbs of Mexico City. About half of the store area was devoted to groceries, and this part of the stores resembled those in the US with some adjustments to the local market. These plus an unfinished store were sold in 1997 to the Mexican hypermarket chain Mega (part of Comercial Mexicana) and remain open under that name, except the store in Tlalnepantla, which was demolished in 2004 to build a Costco.
In late 2000, Kmart quietly started a major expansion into the Caribbean where Wal-Mart and Target has no presence in many of its countries. Kmart started construction on a Super Kmart in 2001[where?] and was halted in 2002 at 80 percent complete. Plans for more stores in Trinidad were going to be built, as well as Millennium Heights in Barbados, five stores in the Dominican Republic, and a potential foray into Jamaica. The unfinished Super Kmart store in Trinidad and Tobago is now a Tru Value Supermarket which is the largest supermarket.
List of CEOsEdit
- S. S. Kresge, Founder (1899–1925)
- Unknown (1926–1958)
- Harry Blair Cunningham (1959–1972)
- Robert E. Dewar (1972–1980)
- Bernard Fauber (1980–1987)
- Joseph E. Antonini (1987 – May 1995)
- Floyd Hall (June 1995 – April 2000)
- Charles Conaway (May 2000 – February 2002)
- James B. Adamson (March 2002 – October 2003)
- Unknown (November 2003 – September 2004)
- Aylwin Lewis (October 2004 – December 2007)
- W. Bruce Johnson (January 2008 – February 2011)
- Herman Darling (March 2011 – December 2012)
- Edward S. "Eddie" Lampert (January 2013 – present)
- "Sears Holdings Reports First Quarter 2017 Results". 25 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
- "2015 Form 10-K, Sears Holding Company" (PDF). Sears Holdings. n.d.
- "Kmart to acquire Sears in $11 billion deal". NBC News. Associated Press. November 17, 2004.
- "Kmart - Warren, OH 44484". Used phone number to confirm: 330-544-2098. March 21, 2017.
- "Kmart State Store Directory: Find a Nearby Kmart Store".
- "Kmart Guam". Guam Portal. n.d. Archived from the original on 2010-11-25.
- "S.S. Kresge". Reference for Business, Encyclopedia for Business, 2nd ed.. n.d. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- Barmash, Isadore (April 4, 1988). "A Kresge-McCrory Reunion". The New York Times.
- Drew-Bear, Robert (1970). Mass Merchandising: Revolution & Evolution. New York: Fairchild. p. 215. OCLC 56099.
- "The K-Mart Corporation: How It Came to Be". Men's Wear. 176. p. 52.
- "The first Kmart - includes related articles - 30 Years of K Mart - Cover Story". Discount Store News. February 17, 1992. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012 – via FindArticles.
- "S. S. Kresge Dead. Merchant was 99. His 5-and-10 Store in 1899 Grew Into 930-Unit Chain". The New York Times. October 19, 1966. Retrieved 2010-12-14. (Subscription required (. ))
Sebastian Spering Kresge, founder of the S.S. Kresge Company's network of 930 general merchandise stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, died today. ...
- "Wendy's to get space in Kmart". Times Daily. 18 August 1985. p. 9C. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Gala, Diane (8 August 1985). "Kmart, Wendy's join forces under one roof". Canton Observer.
- Rosenberg, Joyce M. (December 7, 1990). "Retailers say 'tis true: Christmas sales are slow". The Free Lance-Star. p. 7.
- "Kmart bringing back 'blue light specials'". UPI Energy Resources. 2009-08-25. Retrieved 4 November 2010 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- Russell, John (2001-04-14). "Kent, Ohio, Man Recalls Inventing Kmart 'Blue Light Special'". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2010 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Blue-Light Special Re-Appears at Kmart". Associated Press. 2005-01-27. Retrieved 4 November 2010 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Super K's new phase will be to develop a more complete store with a broader mix". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19 – via FindArticles.
- Miller, Pamela J. (January 6, 2012). "Kmart closing in Medina: More than 100 stores expected to shut their doors nationwide". Medina Post. Archived from the original on 2012-01-10. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Kmart unveils biggest Super Center: food taking major role at discounter". Drug Store News. 1992-11-09. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2009-08-26 – via FindArticles.
- "Kmart Stores". Sears Holdings Corporation. n.d. Archived from the original on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- "Kmart Corporation History". FundingUniverse. n.d.
- Davies, Richard; James, Paul; Schindelheim, Ramona & Valenti, Catherine (January 22, 2002). "Kmart Files for Bankruptcy". ABC News.
- "Kmart files Chapter 11". CNNMoney. January 22, 2002.
- Schmid, Christine & Markell, Joanna (2003-01-14). "Kmart closing all of its Alaska stores: Up to 35,000 jobs to be lost nationally". Juneau Empire. Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- Hays, Constance L. (2004-11-18). "Kmart Takeover of Sears Is Set; $11 Billion Deal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
- Gilson, Stuart C. (2010). Creating Value Through Corporate Restructuring: Case Studies in Bankruptcies, Buyouts, and Breakups (2nd ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-50352-2.
- Hays, Constance L. (May 7, 2003). "A new start, a new name. But have things really changed as Kmart comes out of bankruptcy?". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Bhatnagar, Parija (November 17, 2004). "The Kmart-Sears deal: Two of nation's oldest retailers set $11B merger. Will lower prices, better merchandise follow?". CNNMoney. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- Kaffer, Nancy (February 22, 2006). "Former Kmart Corp. headquarters in Troy sold to Somerset owner". Crain's Detroit Business. Crain Communications, Inc. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Jones, Sandra (2006-02-22). "Sears ditches Sears Essentials name". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2009-07-17.
- Felgner, Brent (2006-08-05). "Kmart: Spit 'n Shine ...and a Bit of Sears". Home & Textiles Today. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- Jones, Sandra & Hockensmith, Lisa (2006-04-24). "Sears reopening some Kmart auto centers; Test drive expected to start in Detroit-area outlets". Tire Business. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- Wolf, Alan (2009-08-03). "Sears Opens First In-Store Majap Shop Inside Kmart". Twice. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2009-08-26.
- "Martha Stewart Fails to Reach New Kmart Deal". The New York Times. Bloomberg News. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
- Hals, Tom (2009-11-19). "Sears loss narrows as Kmart shows improvement". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
- "Sears to close 100 to 120 Kmart, Sears stores". CBS News. December 27, 2011.
- Newman, Jeff (September 26, 2014). "Local Kmart closings part of Sears' ongoing woes". Indianapolis Business Journal.
- Wahba, Phil (October 20, 2014). "As Sears shrinks, it takes on a new role: Landlord". Fortune.
- Shaver, Pat (October 17, 2014). "Bloomington Kmart to close". Bloomington Pantagraph.
- Berry, Lucy (October 20, 2014). "Kmart on Memorial Parkway in Huntsville will close by mid-January". The Birmingham News.
- Perlroth, Nicole (October 10, 2014). "Kmart and Dairy Queen Report Data Breach". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
- Lewis, Dave (October 14, 2014). "Sears Owned Kmart Discloses Data Breach". Forbes. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
- "Kmart Will Pay $102,048 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit". The National Law Review. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 28 January 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Chew, Jonathan (April 22, 2016). "Here's a List of All the Sears and Kmart Stores That Are Closing". Fortune.
- "Kmart is closing 64 more stores and laying off thousands of employees – see if your store is on the list".
- "24 Kmart Stores Closing in 2017: See the List - InvestorPlace". 29 December 2016.
- Jr, Nick Sambides; Staff, B. D. N. "‘Unprofitable’ Bangor Kmart to close in April".
- "Full list of Kmart and Sears stores closing across the country". 4 January 2017.
- Burkham, Larry. "Kmart stores in Dubuque, Waterloo among those closing by end of March". KCRG. Gray Digital Media. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- "Contact Us". Sears Holdings Corporation. n.d. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
Sears Holdings Corporation (map) 3333 Beverly Road Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
- Sinclair, Norm (July–August 2010). "Polyester Palace". DBusiness. Hour Media, Inc. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
Kmart's headquarters in Troy was a study in inefficiency, as offices were spread among 23 modules, each three stories high save for one." and "One summer day in Troy in the early 1980s, a tall, thin man with a syrupy Southern drawl ambled into Kmart International Headquarters (KIH) at Big Beaver and Coolidge and signed in at the security desk. [...] the maze of 23 interconnected modules that made up Kmart's sprawling headquarters.
- "Shareholder Contact Information". Kmart June 11, 2002. n.d. Archived from the original on 2002-06-11. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
Kmart Corporation Investor Relations Department 3100 W. Big Beaver Road Troy, MI 48084-3163
- "Kmart At A Glance". Kmart. n.d. Archived from the original on 2008-10-20.
- "KDollar". Trademarkia. n.d. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
- Kovanis, Georgea (February 3, 2013). "Can Kmart's KDollar compete in metro Detroit discount shopping mecca?". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2013-07-16.
- "Kmart closing Sardis Road store". Charlotte Business Journal. March 8, 2002.
- Treece, James B. (January 17, 1994). "Kmart: Slick Moves Or Running In Place?". Businessweek.com.
- "Kmart Corporation". Funding Universe. n.d. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
- "K mart absorbs Makro, boosts clout in clubs. (warehouse membership clubs)". Supermarket News. 1989-11-27. Retrieved 2013-06-10 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- "K mart hurt by restructurings". The Washington Times. March 9, 1990 – via NewsBank. (Subscription required (. ))
- Yoshihara, Nancy (January 15, 1985). "K mart to Buy Pay Less for About $500 Million". Los Angeles Times.
- White, George (December 3, 1993). "Kmart to Sell Payless Chain to THC Corp.: Merger: With $1-billion deal, Thrifty's parent firm will become the nation's second-largest drugstore retailer". Los Angeles Times.
- Elliott, Stuart (4 October 1979). "Kmart testing entry". The Detroit Free Press.
- Willis, John M. (November 14, 1993). "Kmart discount outlet to open in West Rome". Rome News-Tribune. p. 5.
- "Variety Outlet opens here". Rome News-Tribune. January 10, 1994. p. 6.
- "Kmart for kids". Kmart. n.d. Archived from the original on 2009-10-06.
- "Kmart for kids: What is the March of Dimes?". Kmart. n.d.
- "Kmart". March of Dimes. n.d. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "Four Named to March of Dimes Board of Trustees". March of Dimes. July 29, 2008.
- "Kmart Is Warming Up the Holiday Season with Increased Donations". Istockanalyst.com. 2008-12-18. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Kmart Raises Record $21.9 Million for St. Jude Thanks and Giving Campaign" (Press release). PR Newswire. 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
- "Kmart Earns Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award". Istockanalyst.com. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
- "Kmart Consent Agreement and Final Order". EPA. May 9, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved May 6, 2008.
- "Lawrence, Kan., Distribution Center Among Those Costing Kmart $102,400 in Environmental Penalties, But Self Reporting Reduces Fine". Webwire (Press release). May 11, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2008.
- "Kmart fined for EPA violations". Bucks County Courier Times. May 9, 2007. p. B4 – via NewsBank. (Subscription required (. ))
- "Kmart continues battery recycling". The Reporter. Conway, New Hampshire. April 24, 1991. p. 13A – via Google News.
- Halverson, Richard (1990-06-18). "K mart launches battery recycling". Discount Store News. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2008-05-06 – via FindArticles.
- Codispoti, Amanda (March 6, 2012). "Sears and Kmart receipts go digital". The Roanoke Times. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- "Walmart Cruelty: The Hidden Cost of Walmart's Pork". Mercy For Animals. n.d. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Runkle, Nathan (July 18, 2012). "Victory! Costco and Kmart Commit to Ditching Gestation Crates Following MFA Investigation". Mercy For Animals. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Darrell Waltrip". racing-reference.info. n.d.
- "Darrell Waltrip". racing-reference.info. n.d.
- Ramey, Joanna (July 24, 1995). "The Supercenter Juggernaut". Supermarket News.
- "Former Super Kmart Stores in Mexico". Dead and Dying Retail. March 12, 2012.
- Dixon, Jennifer (June 25, 2002). "Kmart kept building in Caribbean despite major U.S. problems". Billings Gazette.
- "Profile: W. Bruce Johnson". Forbes. n.d. Archived from the original on 2008-12-07.
- Turner, Marcia Layton (2003). Kmart's Ten Deadly Sins: How Incompetence Tainted an American Icon. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-43593-8.