Kmart Background Information
Kmart was an American big box department store chain, originally established in 1899 by S. S. Kresge. Initially started as a five-and-dime store, it transformed over the years into a leading discount department store chain. At its peak, Kmart operated over 2,000 stores across the United States, attracting shoppers with its diverse product offerings, which ranged from clothing and jewelry to hardware, home goods, and toys.
However, Kmart's fortunes started to decline in the late 20th and early 21st century, as it faced stiff competition from rivals like Walmart and Target. The store underwent a significant contraction, marked by bankruptcy in 2002 and a subsequent merger with Sears in 2005 to form Sears Holdings. Despite these attempts at revitalization, Kmart continued to struggle with maintaining its market share. The brand's retail footprint reduced drastically, with numerous store closures over the years. Kmart's identity has been largely defined by this rise and decline, illustrating the competitive nature of the retail industry and the challenges inherent in adapting to shifts in consumer behavior and preferences.