An Overview of Kmart

Kmart is a chain of discount stores first established in 1969 with head offices located in Mulgrave, Victoria. The chain is owned and operated by Wesfarmers comprising of 170 stores in Australia and a further 15 in New Zealand.

Kmart uses a variety of store concepts encompassing merchandise offered at discounted prices including home entertainment goods, sporting goods, cosmetics, clothing and footwear, toys, confectionary, books, cards and party goods, furniture, garden supplies, lighting, automotive equipment and much more.

Kmart's vision is to be a business where families come first for lowest prices on everyday items. As of 2013, Kmart recorded revenues of up to $4.24 billion, operating income at $344 million and total assets comprising up to $2.14 billion. Kmart employs 26, 000 employees.

It is interesting to note the shift of Kmart’s store concepts from decade to decade. During the 1980’s and 90’s every Kmart store had a “Holly’s in store restaurant” but eventually by the turn of the 21st century these restaurants began to shut down across the country.

Another concept that Kmart had tried to use but failed was “Girl Xpress.” This was initially planned as a clothing store chain for young urban women but was discontinued. Part of this was due to selling underwear aimed at its youth market which was considered by many as sexually inappropriate. To be specific, the underwear contained text such as “Call me” and “I (heart) rich boys.” These garments were removed from stock and an apology was given to the public after consumer complaints.

Kmart Australia Limited was born out of a joint venture between Coles and Sears with Sears initially owning 51% of stock in the company. Kmart stores began to develop in Australia in 1968. The first store was opened in Burwood East, Victoria in April 1969 with 40, 000 people passing through the checkouts on the first day alone.

In 1978, Sears exchanged its 51% stake in Kmart Australia for a 20% stake in Coles. However,...