The K in KMART stands for “Kaufmann,” which is the surname of the company’s founder, Sebastian S. Kaufmann. The first store opened as a variety chain at 1859 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago, Illinois on September 22nd 1924 and was named “Kaufmann Mercantile Company.”
The company was founded as a grocery store and didn’t sell general merchandise until the 1950s. This is when they started selling items like radios, appliances, toys, furniture, and other household goods.
In 1992 this iconic retailer rebranded to “KMART” which stands for KAUFMANN MART.
In 2003 KMART ceased operations in Canada due to bankruptcy protection proceedings initiated by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. On April 18th 2005 it sold its Canadian distribution rights to Sears Canada Inc., who operated over 80 stores across Canada at that time.
Of course there are many more things you probably don’t know about KMART! We want your help uncovering them – what’s something interesting or surprising you can share about KMART?
The company has a “feel good” philosophy, and this is what their advertising campaigns are all about. They believe that shopping should be fun! This philosophy was put into place in 1988 with the introduction of the slogan “Always low prices. Always”.
There’s an annual employee recognition program called Stars to reward associates for going above and beyond with customer service (or any other KOL department). It includes bonuses, vacation time, dinners on us – really anything our employees would love! We call it “The Little Things Mean A Lot.”
Kmart also had a 90s hit song performed by Lisa Loeb titled “Stay”. In 2006 they released a clothing line called “I’m A Star” that featured the song.
The company’s founder was named S.S Kresge and not Kmart, but he chose to drop out of college in order to start his own business at a young age. He started his first store with $2500 and an investment from Mitchell Lazarus for 25% stake in the company (he later bought back this percentage).
Kresge also used innovative ideas like offering installment credit plans to customers who couldn’t afford their purchases all at once – making it easier for them to take care of what they needed without using money lenders or pawn shops! His philosophy has been passed on throughout generations since then too: we offer our Great Big Check program where recipients can turn their $500 into a check for up to five years.
One of the most popular items we ever sold was Cabbage Patch Kids! In 1983, they accounted for more than 45% of all dolls nationwide and had grabbed attention from people who didn’t usually buy toys – in fact, it’s estimated that one out of every six American households purchased at least one doll during this time period.
The company changed its name to Kmart Corp. on April 22nd, 1996 when William “Bill” Hutchinson became CEO after serving as president since 1992. It operated with stores under both names until September 11th, 2002 when it officially adopted a new logo and dropped the word “stores.”
There are over 1100 Kmart stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam.
In 1964 K Mart had its first store outside of Michigan when it opened a branch location in Garden City near New York City. It was so successful that they ended up opening over 50 more stores across Long Island before exiting the market entirely on September 12th 2003
The company at one point owned Waldenbooks from 1984 until 1994 – briefly owning Musicland Stores Corp., as well, which they sold off to buy out Sears’ music division for $17 million
Some time ago (1998), we decided to take our customers into consideration and offer them a wider variety of products by adding pharmacies, photo processing centers, copy centers, grocery departments and home improvement sections; as well as the products you would expect to find in a department store
It was also during this time that we opened our first Super Kmart – a combination of grocery and discount retailing operations.
In 2003, K Mart merged with Sears, Roebuck & Co., which resulted in both companies combining their complementary strengths into one organization for better customer service
The company’s name is often abbreviated “KMART” but its official abbreviation has always been just “K.” However, many people still colloquially refer to it by the old acronym—”Kay’s”—and sometimes even add an apostrophe at the end (“‘Mart”) so they can type it on keyboards that lack keycaps with letters in the upper-right quadrant.
Kmart was started as a chain of discount stores in 1962 by two men, S.S Kresge and J L Dayton – hence the name “K” for “Kay’s.” It used to be called The S.S. Kresge Company but it changed its named after merging with JL Industries Inc, which had been founded by John Wurts (J)arlston Daymon (D).