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Kmarts Past Struggle

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Kmart Past Struggles

Management is a key to success, and Kmart needs proper management to help create a positive image that attracts more customers. Kmart’s disorderly management and bankruptcy caused many customers to shop with other retailers. According to Carr, Wal-Mart and Kmart were the same size in 1990. Since then, Kmart has grown far slower than its rival or the industry. Once one of the largest discount retailers, Kmart filed for the biggest Chapter 11 bankruptcy for discount retailing in the United States (2002). Struggling to find the right type of management has been one of Kmart’s problems that ultimately helped lead the company to its downfall. Kmart is constantly changing CEO’s, and thus focuses. Kmart has had four different CEO’s since 2000, all with different management objectives.
Youdath illustrates some of Kmart’s management changes, Charles Conway wanted to turn Kmart into an “Everyday low price destination,” making Wal-Mart Stores a direct competitor. Conaway cut back on advertising and the results were not profitable. After an unprofitable holiday season in 2001 the company filed bankruptcy. In 2002, James Adamson hoped to improve customer service and restock the shelves within the Kmart Stores. While Kmart was taking time to recover from filing Chapter 11, its rivals like Wal-Mart and Target were stealing its customers. When Kmart was focusing on random in-store discounts, Wal-Mart and Target were pitching low prices, broad inventories, hip products, and a pleasant shopping experience (2002).
Jalexson states that in 2003 Edward Lambert rescued Kmart from bankruptcy. Lambert wanted to attract customer’s back, but the closing of 28% of Kmarts over the last two years hurts the chains ability to attract customers and forced the remaining stores to pay a higher portion of advertising costs. Then, in January of 2003 CEO Julian Day said that when a company exits bankruptcy it should emphasize the exclusive brands like; Joe Boxer, Sesame Street and of course Martha Stewart (2003). As mentioned by Karush, starting in October of 2004 Aylwin Lewis was named CEO of Kmart and will be involved in merging Kmart with Sears (2005). With inconsistent management and objectives, Kmart has been struggling to create concrete guidelines necessary to improve store performance.
Effects of Past Struggles on Local Stores
Kmart’s reputation of poor manage...

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...of Kmart’s financial problems and unclear marketing strategy local stores have also suffered. Kmart struggles to change these negative images, and create a positive image to differentiate itself form its competitors. Even though Kmart has had a struggling past, changes can be made by management to improve stores status and attract customers.
Actions such as increasing advertising, improving the store environment, and increasing the availability of quality merchandise must be taken to improve store performance. To make consumers more aware of Kmart’s merchandise more promotions and advertisement is essential. Television, radio, newspaper, and promotional ads should be shown to the general public to spark interest. Stores need to improve appearance and organization and also offer a wider range of quality merchandise.
Kmart’s stores have prime real estate and could be improved by new marketing and management methods to make shopping with Kmart a more pleasant experience. Kmart must improve customer satisfaction, and differentiate itself from its competitors. The future is now and in order to stand out changes must be made.
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