I Love Kmart

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Light blue and red letter text. Red heart. All on white background.

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Kmart began in 1899 as a five-and-dime store named after its founders, Sebastian Spering Kresge and John McCrory. The two business partners dissolved their co-ownership in 1897, and the Kresge owned stores changed their names to just Kresge. The first “Kmart” store by that name was opened in 1962 in Garden City, Detroit. The store brand further changed in 1990 when the logo colors were changed from red and turquoise to red and white. The main competitor for Kmart, Walmart, overtook Kmart sales in 1990, and Kmart had a loss of 940 million dollars in 1994. Actions were taken by management to improve and save the company in the late 1990s, and in 1998 the company was in the green again. 

In 2001, Kmart management decided to bring back Blue Light Specials and cut back on circular ads. Walmart quickly matched Kmart discounted prices, and people familiar and reliant on circular ads stopped shopping at Kmart. The drastic decrease in sales at the time led to the Kmart company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 22, 2002. Although the company has filed for bankruptcy and shut down most of its stores, there are still 34 stores open as of May 2020.


Lisicky, M. (2020). Kmart—Down To Its Last 34 Stores—Finds Itself To Be Essential Once Again. Retrieved 3 February 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellisicky/2020/05/09/kmartdown-to-its…

Kmart Corporation. (2002). In J. P. Pederson (Ed.), International Directory of Company Histories (Vol. 47). Detroit, MI: St. James Press. Retrieved from https://bi-gale-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/global/article/GALE%7CI2501…

Catalog ID IL0133