Kmart Planning New Store Prototype and Old Promotion

Jun 28, 2002

According to a report in Monday’s Women’s Wear Daily, Kmart is working with the design firm, the Arnell Group to develop “the store of the future.” Unnamed sources cited in the report indicate that the new store prototype will roll out within the year. A site location was not identified in the WWD article.

The Arnell group is known for its work designing high-end retail stores for DKNY and Donna Karan. According to the report, “Arnell has been hired to rethink the entire Kmart shopping experience, from fixturing, flooring and lighting to graphics, dressing rooms and shopping bags.” Despite Arnell’s high-end design pedigree the article says the Kmart is “not looking to abandon its customer base, nor move into a different retail strata, but to make the shopping experience more enjoyable and memorable.”

In separate news, Kmart, which now holds the distinction as being the largest U.S. retailer to file for bankruptcy, is shifting its marketing strategy to focus on promotions.

The retailer was encouraged by consumer response to its recent “customer appreciation” days. Today and tomorrow, Kmart will bring back its annual “Can’t Thank You Enough” promotion that promises 10 percent off on general merchandise across the store and 20 percent off on apparel and jewelry.

According to Kmart spokesperson Dave Karraker, a similar promotion increased same-store sales up to 17 percent when ran in 1990s. That was before Kmart banked and lost on its “Bluelight Always” EDLP strategy.

Moderator Comment: What are your reactions to:

  1. The reported Kmart new store prototype project?

  2. Kmart’s marketing shift focused on promotions?

  1. Too little
    too late.

  2. See #1.

Anderson – Moderator

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