Why did Kmart go out of business?


This article is about the Australian subsidiary of Wesfarmers. For the now unaffiliated American company, see Kmart.

Kmart Australia Limited is an Australia-based chain of affordable retail stores owned by Wesfarmers. The company operates 234 stores in Australia and New Zealand.[2] Consists of 209 branches in Australia and 25 branches in New Zealand. The head office is in Mulgrave, Melbourne.


The original Kmart Australia logo used from 1969 to 1991. Some loading docks where Kmart stores opened before 1991 retained this logo.

Kmart Australia Limited was formed from a joint venture between GJ Coles & Coy Limited (Coles) and the SS Kresge Company in the United States, with Kresge owning 51% of the company's common stock. They started developing Kmart stores in Australia in 1968.[3] The first store opened on April 30, 1969 in Burwood East, Victoria. An estimated 40,000 people went through the coffers and raised over $ 97,000 on the first day (equivalent to A $ 1.17 million in 2021). The business was opened by Mrs. HB Cunningham, wife of the president and chairman of the SS Kresge Company.[4][5]

The doors had been closed 45 minutes after opening for security reasons.[6] The site was renovated into a shopping mall called in 2010 Burwood One.[7]

Logo from 1991 to 2009, exclusive to Australia and New Zealand stores, mainly used for store signage.[citation needed]
A 24 hour Kmart store in 2014 in New Town Plaza, New Town, a suburb of Hobart.
The entrance of a Kmart in the Sturt Mall in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Recorded in 2009.

In 1978 Kresge exchanged his 51% stake in Kmart Australia for a 20% stake in Coles.[3] In 1994 Coles bought back all of the shares Kresge held.[3][8]

Kmart expanded to New Zealand in 1988 with a store in Henderson, Auckland.[9]

A long-term license agreement between Sears allowed Wesfarmers to use the Kmart name in Australia and New Zealand.[10] In August 2017, Wesfarmers acquired the Kmart brand name for use in Australia and New Zealand for $ 100 million, ending the licensing agreement.[11]

In 2006, the Coles Group announced plans to merge Kmart with BI-LO and the Coles Group's liquor brands to create the Coles brand.[12] The first renamed store was scheduled to open in 2007. 40 stores, mostly former "Super K" stores, have been divided into separate Coles and Kmart stores and converted into Coles superstores over the past decade. Until March 2007, plans for these supercenters were postponed until all or part of the Coles Group was sold.[13] and in August 2007, incoming owners Wesfarmers said supercenters would almost certainly not continue.[14]

Kmart's performance immediately prior to the Wesfarmers takeover was poor. In May 2007, sales decreased by 3.2% in the third quarter and total sales decreased by 3.9% in the first three quarters.[15]

In August 2007, Wesfarmers announced that it would sell all or part of Kmart or switch some stores to the Target brand.[16] Wesfarmers took control of Coles Group in November 2007 and had decided to keep Kmart by March 2008 and invest $ 300 million in the chain over the next five years.[17]

After a persistently poor performance in 2009, EBIT rose sharply in 2010 and achieved sales of AUD 4.02 billion (equivalent to AUD 4.74 billion in 2021) and an EBIT of AUD 190 million (equivalent to AUD 224 billion) Million AUD in 2021). an increase in EBIT of over 74%.[18] This increase was achieved under the leadership of Guy Russo, who focused on cutting prices and introducing more trending pieces.[19]

On November 15, 2012, Australia's first multi-level Kmart opened in Adelaide's Rundle Mall.[20][21]

As of August 2015, Kmart has 214 stores across Australia - 52 in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, 47 in Victoria, 41 in Queensland, 23 in Western Australia, 15 in South Australia, 5 in Tasmania and 2 in Northern Australia. There are 20 stores in New Zealand.[22]

In August 2018, Continental AG acquired Kmart Tire and Auto Service for $ 350 million.[23][24]

Save formats [edit]

Current storage formats [edit]

  • Kmart is a chain of discount department stores that includes merchandise such as entertainment items, photographic equipment and development, camping and fishing items, sporting goods, toys, kitchen ware, small appliances, warehouse and housekeeping, confectionery, stationery, books, cards and party goods, furniture, Garden supplies, automotive equipment, lighting, hardware, luggage, cosmetics, clothing and shoes. Most Kmarts have photo centers where Hewlett-Packard Snapfish customers can collect online orders.[25] The photo centers have been working with Hewlett-Packard since 2009 after Kmart ended a 30-year partnership with Kodak Australia.[26] In 2013 Kmart began introducing new store layouts. Garden plant sections were removed and the back of the storage areas cut back. There was an expansion of the storage area and an increase in the height of the displays. Stores got a “department store” feel as the checkout registers in front of the stores were replaced with an area where non-self-service customers could pay in the middle of the store.[citation needed]In early 2014 Kmart began a company-wide transition from its minilab system powered by Hewlett-Packard to a minilab system powered by Kodak. The latest stores to switch were Toowong, Mount Ommaney and Indooroopilly in November and December 2014. In 2018, all Kmart stores ceased trading in DVDs, CDs, video games, televisions, video game consoles, DVD players and CD players.
  • Kmart 24 hoursShops are similar to Kmart departmentShops Other than being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and essentially never closing on holidays or events.[citation needed] These stores are located in Burwood, Campbellfield, Belmont, Narre Warren and Werribee in Victoria, Sylvania, Penrith, Figtree, Casula, Waratah, Blacktown and Mt.Druitt in New South Wales, New Town and Launceston in Tasmania, Eaton in Western Australia and Belconnen in Australian capital territory. Visually, these shops do not differ from a '24 hours' red logo next to the Kmart logo.[citation needed]
  • Anko is the international brand of Kmart Australia with agreements to sell their products in other department stores in countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.[27] In 2018, Anko opened pop-up stores in Washington, USA.[28]
  • K stroke is the brand used for smaller rural locations that replace the stores in the target country.[29]

Previous store formats [edit]

  • Kmart Tire and Auto Service (Headquarters: Castle Hill, Sydney, New South Wales) was a chain of auto centers specializing in auto accessories, auto maintenance, tires, health checks, and auto insurance. In the past, these stores were usually (but not always) attached to a Kmart store. In early 2006, a number of vehicle service facilities at Coles Express service stations became Kmart Tire & Auto Service outlets, formerly Shell Autoserv and AutoCare Network. As of August 2015, there were 246 Kmart Tire & Auto Service branches across Australia. In August 2018, Wesfarmers announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell Kmart Tire & Auto Service for $ 350 million to Continental AG.[30] These stores have since been renamed under the banner My carand are no longer connected to it Kmart Brand.
  • Kmart Garden Super Center specializes in garden, plants and garden furniture. Most of these stores were stand-alone "big box" stores in a warehouse format, selling Kmart-made or branded home furnishings in the open air. From 1999 to 2007 there were six such centers, four in Victoria (Chadstone, Fountain Gate, Campbellfield and Watergardens) as well as Windsor (Queensland) and Casula (NSW). Kmart closed all centers in 2007 with the exception of the Campbellfield store (the only store integrated with an existing Kmart store), which was instead downsized, claiming the concept was inconsistent with its future business strategy. From September 2011 this shop was also closed.[31]
  • Super Kmart was a hypermarket concept launched in 1983 with four branches (two in New South Wales and one each in Western Australia and Victoria). The concept consisted of around 9,000 square meters, consisting of a Kmart discounter and a supermarket on one sales area.[32] Super Kmart expanded to 34 locations by fiscal 1989 when the concept discontinued and stores were split into separate Kmart discount stores and Cole's New World supermarkets.[33] The stores were operated under an independent division and the cost of doubling administrative functions and lower sales results compared to the separate Kmart and Coles New World supermarket led to the concept being discontinued.[34] The branches in May 1988 included: NSW - Albury, Ballina, Bateau Bay, Campbelltown, Casula, Forster Süd, Katoomba, Kotara, Maitland, Marrickville, Mt. Third, Pagewood, Penrith and Woy Woy. VIC - Cranbourne, Hoppers Crossing (Werribee), Northland (Preston), Rosebud, Shepparton, Traralgon Wangaratla and Warrnambool (east) QLD - Caboolture, Chermside, Elanora, Gladstone, Mt. Gravatt and Sunnybank Hills. WA - Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Mandurah and Mirrabooka. SA - Port Adelaide. PLOT - Tuggeranong.[35]
  • Holly's Restaurant There was a Holly’s restaurant in every Kmart store in the 1980s and 1990s. They gradually closed across the country from the late 1980s, with the last of Holly’s in Kmart Horsham closing on June 25, 2010.
  • Girl xpress was planned as a clothing store chain for young urban women. A concept store was tested in Burwood East, Victoria, starting in 2006, but was later discontinued. However, Girl Xpress was retained as a Kmart house brand.
  • Kmart Clearance Center was a briefly tested clearance center concept at Ringwood from November 2006 to June 2007.
  • Kmart food Initially, supermarkets were opened next to Kmart discounters. By June 1975 there were 21 Kmart Food supermarkets[36] is located NSW - Blacktown, Fairfield West, Merrylands, Waratah and Warrawong. VIC - Belmont, Box Hill, Boronia, Burwood and Campbellfield. QLD - Cannon Hill, Chermside and Sunnybank. WA - Belmont, Morley and Warwick. SA - Firle, Ingle Farm, Kurralta Park and West Lakes. TAS - New city.[37] The supermarkets were renamed Coles New World Supermarkets in the 1976 financial year.[38]

Kmart wish tree roll call [edit]

Since 1988 Kmart and The Salvation Army have collected over five million gifts from customers that are then distributed to those in need.[39][40] The concept for the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal first came about when Eve Mitchell, a team member of the Kmart store in Noarlunga, suggested Kmart use their network of stores as a gift collection point to support charities this Christmas.[41] Over 464,000 gifts were donated for the 2010 appeal.[42]


Anzac day [edit]

In February 2010, Kmart asked the NSW state government for permission to open their stores on Anzac Day (a day of remembrance) before the traditional time of 1:00 p.m., claiming that their customers would be harassed by their closure.[43] The request was heavily criticized by politicians, ex-diggers (veterans) and customers. Guy Russo, Managing Director of Kmart, withdrew the request in early March, saying, "I misunderstood this and on Kmart's behalf, I apologize."[44]

Influencer Marketing [edit]

A report from the New Zealand online magazine The split revealed that two prominent online “influencers” were being paid by a public relations firm who worked for Kmart when they appeared on a 1 news segment that appeared to be promoting the brand.[45]

See also [edit]

References [edit]

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