The Death Of Kmart

published on July 20, 2020

There has been a lot of talk about the demise of Kmart and how does once-mighty giant is heading towards oblivion back in the day Kmart was the king of retail but those times are long gone and very few people we even remember them that's why today we'll be exploring the

Fascinating origin and tragic downturn of Kmart this video is brought to you by Squarespace the best platform for building a professional website with minimal effort sign up with the link below to get 10%

Off your first purchase the story of Kmart starts all the way back in the 1890s with disco Sebastian Kresge born and raised on a farm in Pennsylvania Kresge made his big break by traveling across the state as a 10 where salesman

He did that for about five years unto 1899 when he had saved enough money to settle down and start his own store Presley's idea was simple to sew everyday goods for either a nickel or a dime in his store you could find

Anything from fishing bombers and playing cards to tea kettles and perfume this simple concept was so successful that Kresge started opening stores left and right by 1912 he had built 85 stores and his newly incorporated company was

Worth seven million dollars he breezed through World War one like it was no big deal and even took his company public by the time the Great Depression came around Kresge owned 600 stores 20 of which were

In Canada while his competitors went bankrupt Kresge took advantage of the drop and share price and bought a lot of his shares back from the public during the 1940s when the Allies were busy fighting

In Europe Presley was raking in 20 million dollars in sales annually even in his old age he remained a brilliant businessman he successfully predicted the rise of suburban shopping and by 1953 he had already built 40 stores in

Suburban areas towards the end of the 1950's however the concept of the variety store with fixed prices was giving way to a new idea as a discount store where prices were still cheap but were not fixed to specific levels Kresge

Opened his first discount store which he called Kmart in 1962 and he made it much bigger than his usual ones with its own Plaza and a lot of parking sticks he did that to fit as many products as possible and the store

Attracted so much traffic that he would turn his inventory over eight times per year suffice to say if the Kmart brand was an instant success in Kresge poured millions into it just one year later he could open 63 K Mart's his company was

Approaching a billion dollars in annual sales now depending on how old you are you may have heard the phrase attention Kmart shoppers a couple hundred times those words were part of the now infamous blue light special where a

Certain item would have its price drastically reduced at random moments since nobody knew when or what would be discounted people would sometimes spend hour strolling around their local Kmart waiting for a sale if the blue light

Special became a key part of Kmart and was used constantly up until 1991 after which it's only been seen intermittently sadly Sebastien Kresge passed away soon after starting Kmart he died in 1966 with a net worth well into the billions

Leaving behind a charitable foundation that is still around today not long after his death the new management replaced the Kresge name with Kmart officially killing off the last remnant of its variety store days without

Kresge's leadership however the company began to struggle their sales did keep on climbing until the early 1990s but this was simply the result of them opening new stores with borrowed money in reality Kmart was losing market share

Walmart could offer lower prices on the same level of goods while Target sold a slightly higher class of products Kmart responded by buying barely related businesses like Sports Authority and OfficeMax all the while refusing to

Upgrade or redesign their old declining stores Walmart surpassed it by sales in 1990 and Kmart answer was to open even more stores despite rising levels of debt at their peak in 1993 Kmart had over

370,000 employees and annual sales of 37 billion dollars and yet despite that their financial situation is horrible just one year later they reported a loss of almost two billion dollars and that's

When everyone started to panic by 1995 almost Oh of the unrelated businesses they had purchased were sold off and more than 200 stores were closed Kmart made a short-lived comeback with their big came out format which

Essentially just widened the shopping aisles they also partnered with Thiago to get their own website but if you try visiting it now you'll see just how well that went in 1997 Martha Stewart partnered with K

March to sell her brand of bedsheets and shampoo and that food investors initially but it soon became clear that came out really was going down they sold all of their Canadian stores in 1998 which briefly made them profitable again

But then Kmart made the colossally stupid decision of trying to undercut Walmart if the brief price war quickly devoured what little margins Kmart had left and on January 22nd 2002 Kmart filed for bankruptcy although not

Unexpected it was still the largest retailer bankruptcy in history and the sheer scale of it left few buyers on the table one of them was Eddie Lambert with the chairman of Kmart who also had a large stake in Sears like Kmart Sears

Was a struggling department store and Eddie thought that he merged the two together two wrongs would magically make a right after lumping the two chains together in 2005 and he saved Kmart from downright oblivion but his solution was

Only temporary every year more and more K Mart's clothes and the ones that remain open report ever-declining sales while Target and Walmart renovated and improved Kmart remained drastically under funded with crumbling buildings in

Untrained staff that made the shopping experience exceedingly unpleasant the brand has totally lost its identity and yet its demise has been surprisingly silent Eddie Lampert has made so few attempts at saving Kmart that it's fair

To wonder whether he even wants to do that at all his other chain Sears has also been doing terribly and just this July his company narrowly avoided bankruptcy by promising to close even more stores employees have been

Extremely critical of him calling him out of touch with reality and judging by his performance he seems like a captain that is determined to go down with his ship when Kmart inevitably finds itself in

Another round of bankruptcy proceedings who knows whether it will just get auctioned off and forgotten or whether someone will be brave enough to attempt reviving this fallen giant just looking at Kmart's website should be enough to

Discourage anyone from ever visiting them again but I'll let you in on our little secret and Eddie Lampert if you're listening take notes you can make websites with amazingly professional design without throwing thousands of

Dollars at web design companies in fact you can do so for as little as twelve dollars a month by signing up for Squarespace with over a hundred designer templates you can easily create a website that is at least ten times

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A world-class website that will make Eddie Lampert cry on a final note I'd like to thank both our kind a trans for supporting us and you dear viewer for watching make sure to follow us on reddit Twitter and Facebook and as

Always stay smart you

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