July 31, 2009

Case Study: Recent Kmart Headlines

Here are some of Kmart's most recent headlines, each with commentary by me.

Kmart helps unemployed Michigan residents

HOFFMAN ESTATES , Ill. (Jul. 20) Kmart has launched the Kmart Smart Assist Saving Card to help unemployed Michigan residents. Eligible customers can use the card to receive at least 20% off more than 1,200 regularly priced high-quality private label grocery and drug store staples for up to six months. Here are some of Kmart's most recent headlines, each with some commentary by me.

Verifiably unemployed Michigan residents who register at www.kmart.com will receive a nontransferable Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card valid for up to six months depending on the date of issue. Any Kmart customer who can present valid Michigan state-issued identification and a state-issued unemployment benefits enrollment confirmation is eligible to enroll in the Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card program.

"Unemployment is severely impacting our Michigan communities, so we knew we had to step up to the plate and do what we could to help Kmart customers continue to provide their families with the staples they need, even on a tight budget," explained Curt Avallone, VP, CMO food, consumables and Drug Store for Kmart. “In these challenging economic times, people are looking for the most value for their money, and we hope the Kmart Smart Assist Savings Card will enable cardholders to keep good quality food on the table and maintain clean, healthy homes while they get back on their feet.”


This is a great idea for Kmart to get positive publicity and help out the community. One good thing too is that Michigan is one of the few states that has several Kmart Super Centers. So that way the residents with these cards can get a better selection of food. I would like to see this program expanded to more states though.

Kmart opens first Sears-branded store-in-a-store

Birmingham , Ala. (Jul. 21) Sears Holdings has opened its first Sears-branded major appliance shop inside a Kmart store, according to This Week In Consumer Electronics.

The store-within-a-store opened earlier July at a Kmart in Birmingham, Ala.

The appliance store will carry Sears branding, including the chain's "Blue Appliance Crew" marketing collateral, and the main sign atop the Kmart will be amended to read “Kmart Sears Appliances.”

Sears is planning to roll out the store-in-a-store concept to additional Kmart locations in the near future, a spokesman for Sears Holdings said. The effort is seen as a way to boost major appliance sales and market share by leveraging Kmart's real estate. Unlike Sears stores, which are largely located in shopping malls, Kmart stores tend to be situated in strip malls, which many shoppers prefer for their easier access.


Even if it is a small one, this is another new test concept by Sears Holdings. Having a Sears appliance section isn't anything new, as they have been adding them to Kmarts for the past few years. What's different about this store is they are using more Sears branding to interest people. You could call it another step in 'de-kmarting' Kmart or 'Searsidizing' Kmart.

Kmart brings back Bluelight Specials just in time for school

HOFFMAN ESTATES , Ill. (Jul. 23) Kmart's "Mr. Bluelight," the company's renowned bargain hunter, is helping customers stay back-to-school-cool without breaking the bank, with the return of its exciting Bluelight Specials.

"We brought back Bluelight Specials last weekend and based on the overwhelming response and customer feedback, we're introducing even more, new specials this Sat., July 25," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer, Kmart. "It's a priority at Kmart to continue to give its customers the opportunity to take advantage of our combination of quality, price and value on the summer's hottest items and even plan for back-to-school."

Kmart's Bluelight Specials are taking over everything from patio furniture to schools supplies, with savings up to 75%.

For more information on the Bluelight special event, customers can follow Kmart on Twitter and Facebook.


The Bluelight is back....again? Just like back in 2001, Kmart is taking another stab at bringing back the Bluelight Special. Hopefully this time around they will put more effort into it. It can be a viable marketing tool for them, if the execution is right. We'll see what happens, but it's hard to have confidence in Sears Holdings Chairman Eddie Lampert.

All articles are courtesy of retailingtoday.com


  1. What a cool way to help people out. I love when a business gets creative and is helpful to those in need.

  2. Kkk at kmart will bring a reproach to sears I vote for Searitizing! KanD Style Integrity with no gimmicks! Kmart always got gimmicks and reports of insider trading investigating on Kmart owners is unway how will they survive the media attention that's getting

  3. For whatever reason it never seemed to have quite the pizzazz it had during the 70's and 80's. Maybe because it was so random that you never knew when or where it'd be, but whatever the reason, it sure was a great marketing tool for them!