Kmart Holds ‘Grand Re-Opening’ For Millennial-Focused Illinois Store

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

What do millennials––a generation loosely defined as “anyone younger than Consumerist’s senior staff”––want from the physical stores that they still visit? Discount chain Kmart hopes to solve that mystery, re-opening an existing store near its headquarters as a “revitalized and refreshed” concept store intended to attract younger shoppers.

Department store chains like Macy’s are investing in experiences like blow-out bars and salons, and grocery chains like Whole Foods, Aldi, and even dollar stores know that young adults like to shop there for low prices on basic items.

What about that new Kmart, though? The store is in Des Plaines, a town between Chicago and the suburban headquarters of Sears in Hofmann Estates, IL. The grand re-opening even had a celebrity guest for no obvious reason: Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen showed up at the ribbon-cutting event.

What does the store actually have to offer the younger customers that it wants to attract, though?

The Des Plaines store is trying new things out, including:

  • A customer service desk rebranded as the “Happy to Help Center,” with a store for kids where they can shop with parents’ points in the Sears Holdings Shop Your Way rewards program.
  • A personal shopping service called Shoparazzi, where customers can give Kmart a shopping list and pick up their purchases later.

    This feature includes the improbable promise that employees will go to another store and pick up any items on your list that Kmart doesn’t carry.

  • A selection of items at low prices, some as cheap as $1, in a section called the “Aisle of WOW!” which sounds a lot like Target’s One Spot.
  • A section with fresh groceries and a selection of candy from local companies.

Will these changes roll out to a Kmart near you? If the Des Plaines experiment works, these could be great new features for a discount store, and especially fun for children. If nothing else, the grand re-opening ceremony reminded local shoppers that Kmart is still there.

Kmart Unveils ‘A Whole Lotta Awesome’ At Des Plaines Store [PR Newswire]
Does Des Plaines’ Kmart reopening offer hope for Sears Holdings? [Daily Herald]