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Timeline Traces Kmart’s History

May 6, 2003 GMT

A look at the history of Kmart Corp., which emerged from bankruptcy protection on Tuesday:


_1899: S.S. Kresge Co. founded by Sebastian S. Kresge.

_1912: S.S. Kresge Co. incorporated in Delaware with 85 stores and sales of $10,325,000.

_1916: S.S. Kresge Co. reincorporated in Michigan.

_1918: S.S. Kresge Co. became publicly traded company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

_1929: Canadian subsidiary S.S. Kresge Co. Ltd. was founded. By year end, 19 stores were operating in Canada.


_1962: Company opened first Kmart discount department store in a suburb of Detroit. Seventeen other Kmart stores opened the same year.

_1966: Founder Sebastian S. Kresge died at age 99.

_1966: Sales topped $1 billion mark for the first time. Number of stores climbed to 915, including 162 Kmart stores.

_1972: S.S. Kresge Co. headquarters moved from Detroit to Troy, Mich.

_1976: S.S. Kresge opened a record 271 Kmart stores, the first time a retailer launched 17 million square feet of retail space in a single year. Total stores reached 1,647; of those, 1,206 were Kmart stores.

_1977: Name changed from S.S. Kresge Co. to Kmart Corp. to reflect that in 1976, sales at Kmart stores accounted for 94.5 percent of the company’s domestic consolidated sales.

_1981: The 2,000th Kmart store opened. At year end, there were 2,055 Kmart stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

_1984: Kmart acquired Walden Book Co. and Home Centers of America, which was subsequently renamed Builders Square.

_1987: Kmart introduced Martha Stewart, entertainment and lifestyle spokeswoman and consultant.

_1990: Company bought The Sports Authority, a 10-store chain of sporting goods superstores.

_1990: Kmart announced updated identity, changing red ``K″ and turquoise ``mart″ logo to a large red ``K″ with a white ``mart.″

_1992: Kmart acquired Borders Inc., a chain of 22 book superstores in the Midwest and Northeast.

_1994: Kmart announced plans to make initial public offerings of its interests in The Sports Authority, OfficeMax and Borders Group, completes IPOs for 70 percent of The Sports Authority and 75 percent of OfficeMax.

_1995: IPO for Borders Group completed; Kmart sold its remaining interests in The Sports Authority and OfficeMax.

_1997: Kmart launched Martha Stewart Everyday line of bed and bath fashions, and complementary 256-color paint line.

_1997: Kmart sold operations of Builders Square and Kmart Canada.

_2001: Kmart announced it would develop, produce and sell exclusive line of Disney children’s clothing under direct-to-retail licensing deal.

_2001: Kmart reintroduced Blue Light Special after 10-year absence.

_January 2002: Kmart named a new chairman, James B. Adamson, who replaced Charles Conaway. Conaway remained as chief executive. The company’s president, Mark S. Schwartz, also left the company.

_January 2002: Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

_March 2002: Kmart announced it would close 284 stores, affecting 22,000 jobs. Kmart later reduced the number to 283.

_March 2002: Conaway left the company and Adamson became chief executive.

_May 2002: Kmart launched an investigation into the way the company was managed under former CEO Conaway.

_August 2002: Kmart said it was cutting nearly 700 jobs.

_December 2002: Kmart was de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange.

_Jan. 14, 2003: Kmart said it would close 326 stores. It later reduced the number to 316.

_Jan. 19, 2003: Kmart president Julian Day is promoted to chief executive officer

_Jan. 24, 2003: Kmart files its reorganization plan in federal bankruptcy court. Its five-year business plan calls for a return to profitability in fiscal 2004.

_March 31, 2003: Kmart announces the elimination of 660 jobs, including some 400 jobs at its headquarters.

_April 21, 2003: Federal bankruptcy judge approves Kmart’s reorganization plan.

_May 6, 2003: Kmart leaves Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Source: Kmart Corp.