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Kmart: Fall of a Retailing Giant

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR056 Electronic Format: Rs. 500;
Courier (within India):Rs. 25 Extra
Business Strategy | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Strategy, Case Studies


Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 2000 - 2003
Organization : Kmart
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Retailing


The case details the journey of US-based retailing company Kmart from being an integral, successful part of the country's corporate history to bankruptcy in 2002. The company's origins and its evolution into a retailing giant over the decades have been traced. The reasons for its poor performance vis--vis rivals Wal-Mart and Target have also been explored. The case takes a look at the restructuring moves taken during CEO Conaway's tenure and examines the reasons for the failure of the same. The case also takes a look at Kmart's reorganization plans and its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy during 2002-03. Finally, the case discusses Kmart's future prospects in light of its changed strategic game plan and the various problems that still persist.


Understand the major causes that contributed to the failure and bankruptcy of Kmart

Appreciate how remote and operating environments impact a company's performance over a period of time if they are not factored into the strategic framework

Understand how competition, operational efficiencies and positioning strategies can significantly alter market shares, leadership position and financial success


  Page No.
Kmart Goes Bust 1
Background Note 2
Kmart Under Conaway 4
Towards Bankruptcy 6
The Reorganization Initiatives 7
Reorganization Roadblocks 8
Life Goes On - Kmart's Future Plans 9
Exhibits 11


US, retailing, Kmart, integral, successful, corporate history, bankruptcy, 2002, retailing giant, Wal-Mart, Target, restructuring, CEO, Conaway, Kmart, reorganization, bankruptcy, 2002-03, Kmart, strategic game

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