OPERATIONS

Kmart adjusts back-to-school offerings to reflect changing trends

BY Staff Writer

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Kmart is responding to changing trends affecting the "back-to-school" experience with a number initiatives designed to meet the needs of its consumers.

According to Kmart, more public schools are requiring uniforms and others are now adopting a year-round school calendar. In response, Kmart has adjusted its approach to back-to-school by increasing the number of stores that sell uniforms and aligning its back-to-school sales periods by region to match that of the local school districts.

"As the back-to-school landscape changes, Kmart is making the necessary adjustments to provide customers the merchandise they need, when they need it," said Andy Stein, interim chief marketing officer Kmart. "By offering school uniforms in more markets such as Chicago and New York and online, and shifting the back-to-school sales periods in applicable markets such as California and Hawaii we can provide greater value to our customers."

Twenty-three percent of all public and private schools in the United States now have a uniform policy, with public schools making-up the majority at about 19%, according to Kmart. As the number of schools requiring uniforms has increased, the number of Kmart stores selling uniforms has expanded. Today, the retailer sells school uniforms online and at more than 450 locations across the United States.

Because uniform requirements differ from one school district to another, Kmart has varied its in-store and online offerings from French Toast and Dickies to reflect these differences.

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Feb-27-2013 06:24 am

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News

RILA sends letter to presidential candidates

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — In letters sent to President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the Retail Industry Leaders Association urged both to consider the retail industry’s prominent role in the U.S. economy as they advance their visions for the future.

The letter was signed by Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO and Sandra L. Kennedy, RILA president. Steinhafel serves as chairman of the RILA board of directors.

“As this year’s political debate unfolds, we welcome the attention that has been paid to three issues of critical importance to all Americans: how to create jobs, speed our economic recovery and avert the certain disaster that would befall America if the fiscal cliff is not properly addressed. With that focus in mind, we write to underscore the importance of the retail industry in our economy and the critical role the industry will play in its revitalization. Indeed, the vibrant economy we all seek cannot exist without a robust retail industry,” said Steinhafel and Kennedy in the letter.

The retail industry is America’s second-largest private sector employer. Nearly 18 million Americans are employed in retail jobs and 10 million more are reliant on the industry for work.

The letter continued:

“[W]hen economic challenges strike or government actions such as harmful regulations and overly burdensome taxes emerge, the harm caused often affects the many individuals and industries reliant on retail. Conversely, when the environment is conducive to growth, entire communities can benefit from the retail industry’s success.

“As you advance your vision for growing the economy, we urge you to consider policies that bolster a vibrant retail industry, allowing it to grow, add jobs and better serve consumers.”

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Dec-06-2012 12:49 pm

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Dec-06-2012 12:49 pm

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STORE SPACES

The Pantry to remodel 160 stores annually

BY Staff Writer

New York — The Pantry is giving its stores a makeover. The chain will remodel 10% of its store portfolio, or approximately 160 locations annual, until it completes the job, said Pantry president and CEO Dennis Hatchell on the company’s third-quarter sales call.

The remodeling program will be store specific, according to Hatchell. He said the chain now has the scan data to execute a customized store set, and that it has a series of distinct demographic types.

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