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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I'm still finding Kmart/Sears to be good for online deals on appliances and TVs. I had 2 Kmarts and 2 Sears near me, and within the last 2 years 1 Sears closed and 1 Kmart is about to close. When I went to the Kmart it seemed like the layout was no different than it was in the 70's and 80's. The Kmart pantry is not competitively priced compared to Walmart.
I'm not ready to give up on Sears/Kmart but basically I don't have much interest in visiting their stores, only online shopping
KMART IN CITRUS HEIGHT ,CA IS DISGUSTING!!
THE SHELVES ARE NASTY THE FLOORS LOOK LIKE HEY HAVENT BEEN MOPPED!
IT LOOK LIKE NO ONE CARES :( KMART DO USA A FAVOR GO OUT OF BUSINESS ALREADY!!! YOUR STORE IS TAKIN UP SPACE.
I hope that Kmart sticks around. I am not aware of other locations but their store in Honesdale, PA is a far cry better than the Walmart across the street. The staff is superior, the shelves are generally full of product and it is cleaner. The cashiers are friendly and intelligent and it seems to be managed far better than any Walmart that I have been to. That is my experience!
Our experience is ust the opposite of the report. Our K-Mart is spotless, Friendly employees. They carry a much better
quality than Walmart etc. Although the store is not usually very busy thats a plus for us, it's like having your own personal store sometimes. Plenty of parking nearby. and of course they have many grocery items. Not positive for the success of the store
unfortunately but good for the customers.
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