Sirens are sounding and the blue light is flashing once again at Kmart, as the struggling retailer tries to lure shoppers through its doors and revive its sales: after retiring “Bluelight Specials” in the early ’90s, the chain will once again blast sirens and turn on the blue light to alert shoppers to surprise, 15-minute long deals in its 942 stores.
It’s October 1989. Your family is spending a pleasant Saturday afternoon at Kmart, browsing for some late back-to-school clothes, or maybe some Halloween costumes. The shelves are full of clearance lunch boxes and plastic pumpkins, and you hear soft instrumental adult-contemporary music interspersed with Kmart promos over the store speakers. That music’s all piped in, though, isn’t it? No recordings of it could possibly exist. [More]
Layaway is a very simple transaction: you pick out an item, a store puts it aside, and you make payments on it until you’ve paid it off and you can bring it home. It was a dying retail tradition when tightening credit markets and a massive recession led stores, notably discount retailers Kmart and Walmart, to bring it back. This year, Kmart wants customers who may no longer have a local store to use layaway plans to buy holiday gifts. [More]
In most of the country, pharmacies can offer rewards points, coupons, or other inducements to get you to switch prescriptions to them. Not only is this illegal in certain states, it’s also illegal to offer these incentives to customers with health insurance through Medicaid. Kmart has settled allegations from a whistleblower that it did exactly that for customers with Medicaid, and accepted co-pay coupons for brand-name drugs for them. [More]
Within the elite squad of retail archaeologists known as the Raiders of the Lost Walmart, some Raiders have subspecialties. Their deep subject knowledge gives us a better understanding of the antiquities that they find buried in the nation’s big-box stores. One of these specialists is Professor Jeffrey, subject expert on My Little Pony. [More]
We’ve had a longtime joke here at Consumerist that Sears Holdings isn’t actually a retail company, but an advanced anti-capitalist prank pretending to run a retail company. We expected the company to either turn things around or go out of business. What’s happening instead is something that some retail observers had predicted: the company is profitable for the first time in years, but only because it sold a few hundred million dollars’ worth of stores. [More]
In all of our reporting on the recent woes of Sears Holdings, the real message is that we want Sears to stage a comeback and return to the retail greatness of decades past. Yet things don’t look very promising over at Sears HQ, and today the department store chain announced that its sales across comparable stores have fallen more than 10% in the last quarter. [More]
Almost eight months after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to several retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Sears and Kmart, those companies have agreed not to sell realistic-looking guns in the state.
Shop Your Way Rewards is not a difficult program to join. The process consists of giving your e-mail address to a cashier at Sears or Kmart, and…that’s pretty much it. It doesn’t cost anything. Yet the leadership of Sears Holdings Corporation remains fixed on the program and the idea of having “members” rather than customers, and we still can’t figure out why. [More]
Stores usually mean well. They just want us to expand the definition of what we think of as an appropriate gift for Mother’s Day. Instead of the traditional flowers, jewelry, and gift cards, they want us to consider buying our mothers a tablet computer. Or clothing. Or laundry detergent. Wait, laundry detergent? Isn’t giving your mother cleaning supplies completely against the point of the holiday? [More]
If there are aliens out there scanning our world’s media reports, at this point I’m terribly afraid they think humans don’t now how to dispose of their waste properly — from public bike paths to parked cars, we’re just a mess. In yet another instance of presumably otherwise functioning adults, police say a woman did her bathroom business in a box of security tags at a Kmart store in Wisconsin. Sigh.
While we’ve heard of suspected shoplifters obscuring pilfered items on their person in unique ways in an attempt at subterfuge, police in Kingsport, TN say one woman accused of trying to steal from a local Kmart cut right to the chase in her effort, as she allegedly attempted to wheel an entire jewelry case out of the store.
Sears Holdings has many assets: mostly, stores in malls that are slumping toward irrelevance, and strong brand recognition and loyalty among Americans over age 50 or so. The company is fighting to stay in business, and current efforts like offering Sears Canada stock to investors and selling stores to a real estate investment trust and leasing them back are part of that effort. Is all of this working? Well, Sears leadership sounds optimistic. [More]
As Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart and Sears, tries to save itself from impending doom, the company is closing a number of its weaker stores. In the current round of cuts, Kmart stores are heavily affected, but the company wants to assure residents of one California town that in spite of empty shelves, their local Kmart store is not about to close. [More]
The new year has barely started, but it’s already time to shed a few more tears for Sears. The American retailing legend is trying to stage a comeback as a place where Americans are willing to shop again. Part of that comeback is shedding stores and facilities that it no longer needs. It’s time to add facility to that list: a parts distribution center in Dallas that employs 77 people. [More]