Kmart Speaks Spanish

Aug 29, 2002
George Anderson

Kmart says it will publish a Spanish-language version of its weekly advertising circular, reports The Wall Street Journal. The circular will be featured in 10 Spanish-language newspapers nationwide and in 160 stores serving large Hispanic communities beginning August 29.

According to Kmart, more than 55 percent of Hispanics living in the U.S. are within 15 minutes of its stores, and the buying power of the group has more than doubled nationwide during the last decade. The discount retailer has placed heavy emphasis on its urban presence as part of its restructuring efforts. One-third of Kmart’s shoppers are Hispanic and black.

Chairman and chief executive James Adamson also wants to incorporate Hispanic and African-American brands into Kmart’s offerings, reports Reuters.

Despite tidying up stores, restocking shelves with new merchandise and staging a series of summer sales, customer traffic at Kmart stores is off 10 percent from last year, according to financial chief Al Koch. In June, the company reported a $1.45 billion net loss for its fiscal first quarter, weighed down by charges associated with store closures and the company’s January bankruptcy filing.

Moderator Comment: Does news such as Kmart’s language focused marketing to Hispanic consumers offer hope for the chain’s ability to compete in the future?

It has been suggested in past discussions that we have failed to note the positives taking place at Kmart as it attempts to emerge from bankruptcy. Our response has been that we would post positive reports and commentary once there was something to report. This may be of small significance in the overall scheme of things but it is a positive step nonetheless. Nice job Big K. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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