- Kmart Corp.
formerly (until 1977) S.S. Kresge Co.Major U.S. retail chain, marketing general merchandise primarily through discount and variety stores.It originated with a pair of 5-and 10-cent stores established in 1897 by S.S. Kresge and a partner. Kresge's at first restricted the price of its merchandise to not more than 10 cents, but eventually to not more than one dollar. In 1962 Kresge's entered the large-scale discount retail market with construction of the first Kmart outside Detroit, Mich. With its success, the company expanded aggressively, erecting an average of 85 discount stores per year over the next two decades. In 1977 it became the second largest U.S. retailer. It declared bankruptcy, however, in 2002 after years of competition with the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (see Sam Walton), and other discount stores. See also Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Woolworth Co.
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