Home » Advertising

How Kmart Lost the Attention of Discount Shoppers – Ad Age

Why Kmart Lost the Attention of Discount Shoppers …

“It seems impossible to believe now, but Sam Walton once had Kmart envy.

The legendary founder of what is now earth’s largest retailer was so envious of his competitor that he would tour its stores, openly gushing. “Kmart was his example of how to do everything right,” said longtime retail consultant Howard Davidowitz, who remembers visiting Kmarts with Mr. Walton more than three decades ago.  “He would grab me by the shoulder, we would go into a Kmart store and he would say … “If only we could do something like this.’ Kmart was the king of the hill.”

You can read the read at Ad Age.

«  »
23 March 2012 Advertising 7 Comments


  • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

    A couple of years ago K-Mart stopped inserting their glossy ads into the Sunday newspaper. Somehow whatever they were selling was going to get to me by osmosis-like the Garfield cartoon having books strapped to his head. I can easily drive to four K-Marts, yet no ads. Ads from Target which are further away. I contacted K-Mart corporate about it, but, alas, they apparently have so many customers jamming the aisles, they do not need me. No circulars! One or two participants at the K-Mart Cars Days, and, worse, the attendance at the K-Mart Hot Wheels Days is down. Last time I went to a K-Mart Hot Wheels Day everyone got one case each, and, some got two. That’s how you can tell K-Mart is ready for total liquidation and bankruptcy. Bye-bye K-Mart! 🙁

  • sodabear says:

    This might seem trivial, but it’s always stood out in my mind as a sign of Kmarts deterioration: their shopping carts are straight-up welfare. It’s not even worth digging through them to find the one that rolls smoothly, because it doesn’t exist. And shopping with a jacked-up cart is the absolute pits.

  • FireFox91 says:

    OMG, I know exactly which K-Mart that is. West View, PA. Just outside Pittsburgh. Notice the Steelers helmet on the back of the yellow car? I have been there many times. The store was actually decent while others were going downhill. But as the neighborhood around it degraded, so did the store. My brother used to live in that area, he moved away because the whole area was going to crap. It was only about a year ago when I found that store to be a gold mine for older Disney Cars. I found a ton of Cars 1 racers that my son didn’t have there. Last time I was there, they didn’t have squat. Just like all the other K-Marts.

  • cac1959 says:

    Maybe the 2 Cars in the fire lane are the only 2 cars in the parking lot… other reasons…

    parking lots in disrepair.

    stores that need to be freshened up… new lights, floor tiles, paint, merchandise racks/shelves, restrooms…

    Failure to use UPC to order and inventory items (not just Cars)… stores that don’t know what they’ve got in stock and a website that can’t match product with what it actually is…

    When an owner of a company doesn’t realize (or care) that you have to spend (invest) money to make money, it’s not good for the company.

  • John in Missouri says:

    The two vehicles parked in the “NO PARKING” zone pretty much sums it all up!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.