KMart Case Study: SWOT, strategic decisions.

Essay by AmberEyesUniversity, Master'sA+, January 2006

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The strategic decision of Kmart lead by chairman and CEO Charles C. Conaway, is one of the strengths of Kmart corporation. Strategy-oriented decision problems address such questions as "How can Kmart respond to the challenges of the industry leader, Wal-Mart?" and "How can Kmart remain competitive in the retail market?"

I honestly did not realize Kmart had any strengths at this point of the discount retail industry. The Kmart in my town, with a population of over 150,000 within a 209 mile radius, closed in 2002 which was a direct relation to the bankruptcy filed January 22, 2002. The filing of bankruptcy lead to the closing of 600 stores and the termination of over 57,000 employees. In March of that same year, Kmart acquired Sears Roebuck and Company. Kmart and Sears, which were America's top two retailers over 15 years ago, formed Sears Holding Corporation and became the nation's third largest retailers with 3500 stores.

The cross-selling of brands is a definite strength in the competitive market and a key part of the acquisition strategy. The merger of Kmart and Sears offers both challenges and opportunities for the new company.

One weakness of Kmart, prior to the acquisition of Sears, is that the company was satisfied with targeting only low-income families and providing mediocre customer service. Customers were not only associating the Kmart brand with low prices, but also low quality service. I feel this was detrimental to the Kmart brand especially when rival Wal-Mart entered the market with low prices and high quality service. In addition to poor customer service, Kmart had serious problems with advertised products being out of stock. Out-of-stock merchandise shows a weakness in Kmart's inventory control system. Kmart must be able to continually reinvent the brand image in order to remain competitive in...