Sears Holdings says Kmart is being transformed, not closing doors
You may have seen recent reports that associates at Kmart stores believe their stores are being phased out as part of a larger plan by parent company Sears Holdings to shutter the chain. Sears Holdings has denied the report, insisting that it is in the process of transforming Kmart from a traditional brick and mortar chain to a new type of retailer.
According to the reports, Kmart associates have been spooked by the chain’s decision to move inventory from its backrooms to store shelves. Associates see this as another sign that its parent company is unwilling to make the necessary investments (see lack of remodels) to put stores in a position to achieve success.
Sears Holdings responded to the reported concerns with the following statement to the Consumerist: “Store associates are currently rolling out a phased project that gets our newly-delivered products on the stores’ shelves immediately rather than in the stock rooms and ensuring that the member does not wait in line at the checkout.”
Part of its response to TWICE on the same subject included the following: “The goal is for our stores to operate more efficiently, deliver improved customer service by enabling our associates to spend more time on the sales floor assisting members and customers, and to drive increased margins.”
Sears Holdings claims that Kmart associates are finding that the inventory flow change is making their jobs easier and opening up time to better meet the needs of customers. Management has said it will work on the chain’s internal communications to keep associates in its 900-plus stores better informed.
- Kmart Employees Report Sudden Merchandise Purges, General Sense of Doom – Consumerist
- Kmart: Stockroom Purges Are Bout Efficiency, Making Employees’ Jobs Easier – Consumerist
- Is Sears Preparing to Pull the Plug On Kmart? – TWICE
- Sears Responds to TWICE Kmart Story – TWICE
- Employees Say Kmart Is on Its Last Legs – Newser
- Kmart workers believe all the stores are going to be imminently shut down – Business Insider
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Kmart’s plan to move inventory straight to the sales floor instead of being held in the backroom as a sign the company is focused on transformation? Will this enable associates to better serve the needs of customers?