Do you remember Kmart?

Kmart or K-Mart is a Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based, American chain of discount department stores that was formed originally in 1899 as S.S Kresge Corporation named after its owner. It was renamed K-Mart in 1962 under the leadership of Harry Cunningham and is presently the third largest discount chain in the world, after only Walmart and Target.

Kmart was formed first in 1899 under the name S. S Kresge Corporation. It featured for the first time on New York Stock Exchange in 1918. Kresge retired as the company president in 1925. It bravely survived the First World War and the great depression with constant increases and decreases in the number of stores. The company finally opened its first Kmart store in Garden City, Michigan, in 1962 with Harry Cunningham as its executive head and kept expanding by leaps and bounds. The founder, Kresge died in the year 1966. Some stores that were not performing well changed to ‘Jupiter Discount Stores Brand’. The original name S. S Kresge Corporation was finally done away with in 1977 and the company was renamed Kmart Corporation. The company tried co-branding in 1985. Towards the end of 2004, K-mart purchased Sears changing its name to Sears Holding Corporation. Kmart is presently a subsidiary of the parent Sears Holding Corporation.

It is the third largest discount store in the world followed by Walmart and Target. It is well known for its ‘Blue Light specials’ and the sales of K-cars. Mr. Bluelight is an animated blue-colored light bulb providing customers with all sorts of ideas in order to enhance their shopping experience making it wholesome. Mr. Bluelight has also been featured in a lot of Television Commercials. Special products associated with Mr. Bluelight inside the Kmart stores are publicized as ‘Blue Light Finds’ while the products from higher-end are marketed as ‘Best of Blue’. The phrase “Attention Kmart Shoppers” has become quite popular even making its presence felt in films and other forms of media like Troop Beverly Hills, Six Days Seven Nights, and Rain Man, among others.

The products offered by K-Mart include clothing, linen, jewelry, houseware, appliances, furniture, tools, electronics, toys, and food. It operates in Canada, Mexico, and Eastern Europe apart from operating in Australia and USA with around 2486 K-Mart stores globally at its peak in 1994.

The Rise & Fall of Kmart

Kmart was Founded

The company is headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States. The company was incorporated in 1899 as S. S. Kresge Corporation and renamed Kmart Corporation in 1977. The first store with the Kmart name opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan.

The End of Kmart

As of Oct, 2022 there are only 9 remaining US Kmart stores with only three in the contiguous United States: Florida (Miami), Guam (Tamuning), New Jersey (Westwood), New York (Bridgehampton), Puerto Rico (Hato Rey), Virgin Islands (St. Croix – Frederiksted), (St. Croix – Sunny Isles Shopping Center), (St. Thomas), (St. Thomas – Tutu Park Mall)

Click through the gallery above for some of the most popular forgotten retail spots that are now gone, but never forgotten. Did we miss one of your favorites? Share your memories in the comments.

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