Kmart: We Will Not Shutter

Chain refutes report that it’s going out of business
July 28, 2016David Gill

Kmartstorefront3x2HOFFMAN ESTATES-In an effort to refute a report that Kmart will be shut down by parent Sears Holdings, the discount chain’s key executives have posted a blog outlining Kmart’s plans to remain a viable retailer.

“Sears Holdings is highly focused on restoring profitability to the company and Kmart remains a key part of our asset portfolio,” according to the blog, which was co-authored by Alasdair James, Kmart’s president, and Gareth Glynne, its head of retail. “In the last 12 months, Kmart relaunched its brand, brought back Bluelight specials and started to make shopping fun again.”

Last week, the Business Insider website posted a story that said Kmart employees believe that Sears Holdings is in the process of shutting down all of its stores. The story quoted “store-level employees” who said they had been told by Kmart staff to move all merchandise in the stores’ stock rooms to the sales floor, as if the stores were in the midst of liquidations.

Not so, James and Glynne said on their blog. They described the merchandise moves as “a phased project that gets our newly delivered products on the stores’ shelves immediately rather than in the stock rooms and ensuring that the member does not wait in line at the checkout.” The change is part of an effort to improve the efficiency of these stores, the blog said.

“Every day, tens of thousands of men and women are working hard to serve our members, keeping our strong stores strong and getting our underperforming stores headed in the right direction,” the blog said. “We continue to educate associates on the strategy, just as we continue to evaluate and optimize our cost structure with a focus on store-level marketing expenditures, staffing levels and improved inventory management.”

David GillDavid Gill | Contributing Editor

David Gill is a contributing editor to HFN.

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