On March 1, 1962, the first Kmart shop opened in Garden City, Michigan. The company had an initial public offering of stock that same year.
Kmart founder George Kirkland started out as an errand boy for a grocery store owned by his father. He eventually bought out his father's business and moved it into larger premises. By the time he died in 1970 at the age of 39, he had built one of the largest retail chains in America. The company today has more than 2000 stores across the country.
In addition to being a retailer, Kmart also held significant amounts of real estate- most notably the site now occupied by the Northbrook Mall in Northbrook, Illinois. This mall opened in 1971 and was once called the "Shopping Center of the Year" by Fortune magazine. It is now known as Northbrook Mall.
There have been several attempts over the years to revive the Kmart brand after its collapse in 2004. Most recently, Kmart re-entered the Chicago market in 2009 with one store that closed less than a year later. There were also plans to open additional stores in the region but these plans never came to pass.
On January 25, 1962, in San Fernando, California, just six months before the inauguration of the... Kresge Company opened the first Kmart-named store at 27,000 square feet (2,500 square meters), which Kresge referred to as a "bantam" Kmart and was in fact originally intended to be a Kresge store until late in the planning process...
The word "Kmart" is an abbreviation for "Kresge's Marketplace." The original name of the company was the Kresge Manufacturing Co. It was started by Edward J. Kresge as a five-and-ten-cent store in 1879, shortly after he came to America from Austria with $100 in his pocket.
He bought cheap goods from local manufacturers and sold them for small amounts above their cost. This allowed him to make a profit while giving customers a good deal. By 1886, he had grown the business into a full-service department store. In 1902, he died at the age of 44, but by then he had built one of the largest retail chains in Michigan. His son, Arthur W. Kresge, continued to expand the business beginning in 1913.
In 1960, Kmart decided to enter the southern California market by opening its first Southern California store at West Covina near Los Angeles. Within a few years, other locations were added to the chain across the country. By 2001, there were more than 150 Kmarts across the United States and Canada.
Sebastian Kresge launched Kmart in Detroit in 1899 and it immediately developed. The Kresge firm, as it was known, was originally listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1918 and had topped $1 billion in revenues 50 years later. However, it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and was bought by a group of investors including Sears Holdings Corporation.
Today, Kmart operates approximately 1400 stores across the country. It also has a large online presence with over 250 brand-name products available for purchase directly from its website.
Kmart was one of the first big-box retailers to offer shoppers online shopping experiences. In 1995, it started offering its own brand of discount store groceries under the name Kmart Grocery. In addition to food products, customers can also find electronics, home appliances, and apparel at Kmart.
The retailer has suffered from poor management decisions and competition from larger retail chains that are able to offer lower prices or better value packages. In 2010, after reporting more than $15 billion in sales, Kmart announced that it would be closing its remaining 122 smaller format stores across America. The company claimed that these closures would create more efficient distribution centers and better serve growing online sales but they were not enough to prevent the closure of its last traditional store location.
In that decade, Kmart Foods, a now-defunct chain of Kmart supermarkets, debuted. Despite the fact that the retail chain continued to open Kmart-branded locations, it was still formally known as S.S. Kresge Company. A Big Kmart shop on Willow Street in Willow Street, Pennsylvania (store # 3810) on its last day of business, April 18, 2021. The store was one of 1,102 closed by the end of June 2011.
Kmart shut down its remaining stores in 2012 after more than 80 years in business. Its final store closed in Pennsylvania on April 18, 2021. However, the company continues to operate through its online store and wholesale divisions.
The Kmart name remains popular with many consumers who remember their cheap prices and wide selection of goods.
In 2014, Sears Holdings sold more than 70 Kmart properties to Seritage Growth Properties for $315 million. The sale included the remaining Kmart locations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
However, this wasn't the first time Kmart tried selling itself. In 2007, Kmart considered an offer from home improvement retailer Home Depot but ultimately rejected the deal because it thought it could do better on its own.
Since then, Kmart has filed for bankruptcy twice.
Kresge established the S.S. Kresge Company in Delaware in 1912, with 85 outlets. In 1916, Kresge formed a new S.S. Kresge Firm in Michigan and took over the previous company's activities; the new company in Michigan is the modern-day Kmart. On May 23, 1918, the firm was originally listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Kresge died in 1919 at the age of 44, after running the business for only five years.
Its earliest stores were located in small towns across America where there was no other retailer around to compete. These early Kmarts were small, with 10,000 square feet or less of space, and they sold items such as furniture, housewares, clothing, toys, and electronics.
The first Michigan Kmart opened its doors on October 2, 1973, in Troy with 22,000 square feet of retail space. At that time, it was the largest store in town. The store was built by McGinley Corp. It initially offered customers a wide selection of home furnishings and appliances at low prices, which attracted people from miles around who wanted something different than what traditional big-box retailers had to offer at the time. Within a few months of opening, however, Kmart began to experience financial problems due to high construction costs and slow sales growth. In an attempt to save money, Kmart closed down several underperforming stores and shifted their inventory to fewer locations which left many communities without a Kmart for long periods of time.