November 21, 2009

Special Report: Shop Your Way Rewards

K'Ching Round 2?

Back in July, I wrote about a new program Kmart was testing in select markets called Kmart Smart Rewards. The program including using a card to get discounts and rewards when you shopped at Kmart stores. A few weeks ago it was rolled out nationally under the name Shop Your Way Rewards. It still has the same benefits as before, including the K'Ching surprises at Kmart, 1% back in rewards, & no receipt returns, but now its available for the Sears Holdings family of stores and websites. The card can now be used at not just Kmart stores but also at Sears stores, Lands End at Sears,,,, and

When I wrote about the original Kmart Smart Rewards program I said it can help build loyalty and return trips to Kmart. I again echo that sentiment, now that this program has gone national. I believe it can be a slight edge for them against Wal-Mart and Target. Most stores these days have some type of loyalty card program, because it works. Everywhere from Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, CVS, Kroger, to PetSmart have a loyalty card program. Wal-Mart and Target are in the minority now as stores without it.

I signed up for the original Kmart Smart Rewards Program as it was available in my area and they automatically sent me a new Shop Your Way Rewards card when it was launched to replace the KSR program. I get frequent emails for special deals with my card at Kmart and Sears. So far from first hand experience, I think it will be a successful endeavor for Sears Holdings.

What do you think? Is this program a good idea or is it another one of Sears Holdings failed attempts to spur business?


  1. It's hard to say Wal-Mart is in the "minority" when they are the world's largest retailer (and in 2007 and 2008, the world's largest company by revenue!) They have the power to set trends, and many Wal-Mart shoppers rarely shop at other stores. I doubt a rewards program will generate many new shoppers for Kmart, but perhaps will succeed in slowing the rate of defection from their under-invested stores.


  2. Now, though, Kmart and its 1,400 U.S. stores are dwarfed by bigger competitors. Data from the market research firm Euromonitor International 2009: Kmart has only 3.7 percent of the U.S. market share among department stores and mass merchants. That compares with 13 percent at Target, which has about 1,700 stores, and almost 23 percent at Walmart, which has roughly 4,000 U.S. locations.

  3. True the cards are stacked against Kmart, They will need more drastic things than just this reward program. But I think it is a step in the right direction for them.

    I was only referring to walmart being in the minority when I was discussing stores without reward cards and they are. Does walmart need one? No, but If they did have one I'm sure it would give them even more business.