Kmart opens 'Awesome' store

Image: Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Kmart has unveiled a new store described as "A Whole Lotta Awesome" as part of a strategic marketing and rebranding initiative.

The store in Des Plaines, Illinois is not far from Sears Holdings corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates. It's a remodel to an existing unit and the changes are based on customer insights and feedback, with a focus on Shop Your Way loyalty club members.

There are a number of new features, including the launch of a new Kmart brand guarantee that guarantees every SYW member a minimum of $100 in coupons in the app, every day.

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Customer service is now the "Happy to Help" center, designed to better meet the needs of every customer, including a kid's shop where they can get toys, candy and more with their parent's Shop Your Way points.  

Shoparazzi is a free personal concierge service that, when provided with a member's list, will do the shopping for them. Items not carried at the store will be located elsewhere and ready for customer pickup at checkout.

A "Super 6" shop features six "outrageously priced items" and a fully stocked grocery section with fresh local produce.

A new beauty bar features well-known beauty brands and experts to provide hair and skincare advice. The upgraded pharmacy is staffed with a wellness consultant to provide health advice and product recommendations.

The "Aisle of Wow" is dedicated to low-price items, limited-time only "Real Deals" and "Dollarpalooza," offering a selection of items priced at $1.

Kmart exclusive brands, including Joe Boxer and Jaclyn Smith, are merchandised in enhanced brand apparel shops, a candy section features locally made sweets. There is also a new paint shop and an expanded pet center.

The store features new signage and wider aisles throughout, and is a test for the company as it looks to expand successful components to other locations.

"In an effort to evolve the Kmart brand to better serve our members, we will continue these efforts to test and learn at our stores," said Kelly Cook, chief marketing officer. "Our goal is to deliver the best value, price, product and experience, and in doing so, we believe our members will keep coming back for more of A Whole Lotta Awesome!"

Sears Holdings has been closing stores under both the Sears and Kmart banners as sales continue to slide. The focus has been on growing sales generated through the SYW program, and this new store represents a rare attempt to update the chain's brick-and-mortar presence as the company rethinks the strategy.