Is it time to close Kmart?
The chain is losing money, and sales are sliding. Is there any reason for it to stay in business?
Would Sears be better off closing Kmart? At the rate things are going, the answer is yes.
Kmart is stuck in a rut. Sales at its stores open at least a year fell 3.8% over the crucial holiday shopping season, The Wall Street Journal reports. Now it has just 0.6% of the nongrocery retail market. In the first nine months of its current fiscal year, the chain posted a $98 million operating loss and saw sales slide 5.5%.
We won't know for a while whether Kmart made a profit in 2012, but it lost money on an operating basis in 2011.
The Kmart stores that I've been to are remarkably similar. They're dirty. The shelves are cluttered, yet the customers are gone. Employees are nowhere to be found.
The Journal found a similar scene at a Kmart in Manhattan, where it reported abandoned carts full of merchandise, unevenly stacked towels and unfolded pajama sets lying about. "The tile floors looked as though they hadn't been mopped in some time, and clothes were piled in the corners of the dressing rooms," Dana Mattioli wrote.
Kmart stores in New Jersey took that a step further, selling expired infant formula and over-the-counter drugs. The chain will pay more than $300,000 in fines and be subject to inspections as a result.
Kmart used to fill an important role for budget-conscious shoppers. But those customers have many more places now that can meet their needs. Dollar stores sell groceries and household necessities. Wal-Mart (WMT) has a bigger selection than Kmart, often at lower prices.
In fact, the Journal cited data showing Kmart's prices were higher than Wal-Mart's and Target's (TGT) in five out of six items it checked at all stores.
Granted, that's a pretty small sample. But if that holds true and Kmart isn't necessarily cheaper than competitors, then what is Kmart's reason for existing?
More in moneyNOW
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I threaten to blow my KMart up every time I attempt to shop there again (not really of course). It's very convenient to my work, making it the obvious choice for quick shops, say for toothpaste or milk, etc. But they NEVER have the product I go for. And, the few times they have something I've come for, it's priced way higher than even Target. Our KMart is filthy, shelves are dirty & registers are never open.
I worked in a KMart while my husband was stationed in Beaufort, SC during the holiday season because I didn't want to buy him presents with his own money. Boy, was I glad that was only a 2 month gig. Ewww.
Here's a thought: why not fire the workers/managers who don't keep the stores up?
...Kmart might have a fighting chance then
I wish there was a way to get more people back to shopping at K Mart. I began to shop Wal Mart but now I go to K mart more. I am finding K Mart has better prices them Wal Mart. Over the years the Wal Mart has raised their prices. So if you haven’t shopped K Mart in a while...Please go check them out. I needed a new refrigerator and found the best price at K Mart...Sears was $85 higher for the same thing! I do think they would do better if they do a facelift on many of the stores. The one in my neighborhood has been there over 45 yrs and needs some TLC. They did redo the bathrooms (well over do), now the rest of the store needs some updating.
I've said for some time that Sears/Kmart should close both chains and reopen under a new name. Both operations have started carrying like merchandise so they cut each other throats especially if they are close to each other. Looks like they would pick the best location and close the other. It's true Kmart pricing is higher than Walmart and I now see in many cases they are even higher than Target. The Kmart in my hometown is 30= years old and the last time I was in there it looked dirty as does the Kmart in the town I live in now.
What I find rather stupid is that they have lots of cash registers in Kmart and lines to China and back but no one to run the empty cash registers and they have started the send your receipt to your e-mail address which is just stupid and takes up time at the checkouts. I don't know if anyone would buy out Kmart since they all need a remodel and a good cleaning up.
I rather like K-Marts. I'm low income and it helps because i can put things on layaway when you can't do that at anyother store. It's not just at christmas time either. Thats what i like about K-Marts. So please don't take it away.
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