Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kmart, 1962-2017???

Normally I put these types of stories in my tymshft blog, but since this story hasn't officially ended yet, I'm sticking it here.

Kmart, which sprung out of S.S. Kresge in 1962, had hit hard times by 2002. This was not a good time for merchandisers - the venerable Montgomery Ward had gone out of business. Kmart's solution was to merge with Sears, under the theory that if you put two faltering companies together, the resulting company would be absolutely wonderful.

For some odd reason, it didn't work out that way. The combined company is still faltering.

Now comes news that Kmart is undergoing a "path to profitability" plan at its stores, and that store managers are being encouraged to move inventory out of the stock room and on to the sales floor.

Some employees, however, suspect that Kmart is doing something entirely different:

"If you go to the purging stock rooms then that means the store will be closing soon no matter what they tell you," one person wrote. "Could be a month, maybe six, but they are already in the process of planning for it to close once they put it all out on the sales floor."

Other employees are speculating that bankruptcy and store closings will begin after the Christmas 2016 season, with one saying:

I have no doubts at all that SHLD [Sears Holdings] will cease to exist by 2020 at the very latest.

Note that Sears Holdings not only includes Kmart, but also Sears itself. According to that noted business publication Infowars, Kmart and Sears are but two of the retailers that are closing stores; even Walmart is affected. The steady minds at Infowars are referring to a "retail apocalypse."

Not surprisingly, the National Retail Federation takes a different view. However, neither Sears nor Kmart appear on the NRF's Hot 100 list.
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