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?
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Man, don't close K-mart! Shop there all the time, so I don't have to go to the more expensive Target. I refuse to go to Wal Mart.
Kmart really needs a really good revamping.
I love Kmart. I miss the old kmart deals. I CAN NOT STAND walmart stores.
the best thing that Kmart can do for itself is to give itself a total makeover.
and then Kmart can come back with a vengeance and knock the walmart
stores off the map.
Come to think of it, how much more business has my local K-Mart gained since the Wal-Mart in Fairless' moved down to Rt. 13? I had kinda forgot about the place, never mind that it's next to SAM'S CLUB!. Seriously, when you know competition drives down prices, we need to start playing K-Mart off Tar-zhay(!) and the Waltons again before the system gets us. There used to be 5 and 10s galore with Woolworth's, McCrory's, Newberry's, Kresge's, etc. around, not to mention all the regional giants(Strawbridge's, Marshall Fields, Filene's etc.) that Macy's gobbled up.
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