Kmart is the third largest discount store chain in the world, with stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam, which houses the world's largest Kmart. The stores in Australia and New Zealand have no relation to the American stores, except in name.
Reading up on Kmart, I was pleasantly reminded of the five and dime Kresge stores I once haunted as a child, longing for one of those quarter-sized turtles. Kresge opened the first Kmart in 1962, a few months before Walmart opened. However, it didn't change it's name until 1977. During the 1980s in an effort to change its image, Kmart introduced a new logo and began remodeling stores, as well as offering product lines by Martha Stewart and Jaclyn Smith. In 1998, Canadian stores were sold to Zellers. In 2002, Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection, closing 300 stores and laying off 34,000 workers. In 2003, it emerged from bankruptcy protection. In 2004, it announced its intention to purchase Sears, Roebuck and Company. Following this merger, some stores remodeled to orange and brown, though the store I visited maintained a blue and white interior. After the Christmas season 2011, it was announced that 100-120 Sears/Kmart stores will be closing.
Many of my readers may remember the blue light specials though I can't recall that I ever snagged one. They were a common sight at the height of Kmart's popularity and judging from the number of videos on YouTube, Mr. Bluelight is a cultural icon as well. Have any of my readers ever snagged one of these specials?
And will the store in your area survive the most recent round of closings?