Kmart Corporate Timeline

1899 - S.S. Kresge Company founded by Sebastian S. Kresge.

1912 - S.S. Kresge Company incorporated in Delaware with 85 stores and sales of $10,325,000.

1916 - S.S. Kresge Company reincorporated in Michigan.

1918 - S.S. Kresge Company became a publicly traded company and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

1929 - Canadian subsidiary S.S. Kresge Company, Ltd. was founded. By year end, 19 stores were operating in Canada.

1952 - S.S. Kresge Company was one of the first retailers to convert stores to checkout operations and to open stores in shopping centers.

1962 - With Harry B. Cunningham as president, the company opened the 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 the $1 billion mark for the first time. Number of stores climbed to 915, including 162 Kmart stores.

1968 - S.S. Kresge Company and G. J. Coles & Coy Limited of Australia organized Kmart (Australia) Limited to develop Kmart stores in Australia. Kresge owned 51 percent of the common stock.

1972 - S.S. Kresge Company moved from Detroit to its new headquarters in Troy, Michigan.

1972 - Harry B. Cunningham relinquished his post as chairman of the board and chief executive officer to Robert E. Dewar, former Kresge president.

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 Company to Kmart Corporation to reflect that in 1976, sales at Kmart stores accounted for 94.5 percent of the company's domestic consolidated sales.

1978 - Kmart exchanged its 51 percent interest in Kmart (Australia) Limited for a 20 percent interest in G. J. Coles & Coy Limited. In 1985, G. J. Coles & Coy changed its name to Coles Myer Ltd., and Kmart increased its interest in Coles Myer to over 21 percent. This equity interest was divested in 1994.

1979 - Robert E. Dewar relinquished his post as chairman and chief executive officer at year end.

1980 - Vice Chairman Bernard M. Fauber was elected chairman and chief executive officer.

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 Company and Home Centers of America, which was subsequently renamed Builders Square.

1985 - Kmart launched the Jaclyn Smith® signature collection of sportswear.

1987 - Kmart sold most U.S. Kresge and Jupiter stores to McCrory Corporation.

1987 - Bernard M. Fauber relinquished his post as chairman and chief executive officer and Joseph E. Antonini was elected chairman, president and chief executive officer.

1987 - Kmart introduced Martha Stewart, Entertainment and Lifestyle Spokesperson and Consultant.

1990 - Kmart purchased The Sports Authority, a 10-store chain of sporting goods super stores.

1990 - Kmart announced a new updated identity, changing the red "K" and turquoise "mart" logo to a large red "K" with a white "mart." The new logo signaled Kmart's commitment to change.

1990 - Kmart acquired 22 percent ownership interest in OfficeMax. Kmart increased its interest in OfficeMax to more than 90 percent in 1991.

1991 - Kmart raised $1 billion in equity through a convertible preferred stock offering. (All such stock was converted into common stock in 1994.)

1992 - Kmart acquired Borders, Inc., a chain of 22 book superstores in the Midwest and Northeast.

1992 - Kmart entered the European market with the purchase of 13 stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. These stores were subsequently sold in 1996.

1994 - Kmart launched the Kathy Ireland® Exclusive swimwear and bodywear collections.

1994 - Kmart opened stores through joint venture operations in Mexico with El Puerto de Liverpool and in Singapore with Metro (Private) Limited. The joint venture in Singapore was dissolved in 1996, and the Mexican joint venture was sold in 1997.

1994 - Kmart announced its intent to make Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of its interests in The Sports Authority, OfficeMax and Borders Group, Inc. IPOs for 70 percent of The Sports Authority and 75 percent of OfficeMax were successfully completed.

1995 - Joseph E. Antonini relinquished his post as chairman, president and chief executive officer, and later that year, Floyd Hall was named Kmart chairman, president and chief executive officer.

1995 - IPO for Borders Group, Inc. was successfully completed and Kmart sold its remaining interests in The Sports Authority and OfficeMax.

1996 - Kmart completed $4.7 billion in new financing through a three-year, $3.7 billion credit facility and a $1 billion public offering of 7.75 percent convertible preferred securities.

1996 - Kmart launched Route 66® a line of casual apparel for all members of the family.

1997 - Kmart introduced its new Big Kmart store format and logo.

1997 - Kmart launched a new Martha Stewart Everyday® line of bed and bath fashions, and complementary 256-color paint line.

1997 - Kmart sold the operations of Builders Square and Kmart Canada.

1997 - Kmart debuted the Kmart Cash Card to replace paper gift certificates and facilitate the return process.

1997 - Kmart debuted Sesame Street®, an exclusive line of clothing for newborns, infants and toddlers under a long-term agreement with Children's Television Workshop.

1998 - By year end Kmart had opened or converted 1,245 Big Kmart stores representing 62 percent of the chain's stores.

1999 - Kmart celebrated its 100th anniversary as a retailer.

1999 - Kmart's Martha Stewart Everyday brand launched new garden and patio products and Martha Stewart Baby Baby products for the nursery.

1999 - Kmart launched, a stand-alone E-commerce company, in conjunction with SOFTBANK Venture Capital and Yahoo!.

2000 - Kmart expanded the Martha Stewart Everyday Garden Collection to include live plants and seeds, and launched Martha Stewart Everyday Kitchen, a complete line of housewares essentials.

2000 - Floyd Hall retired as Chairman, President and CEO, and Charles C. Conaway was elected Chairman and CEO.

2000 - Kmart and Capital One launched a new co-branded MasterCard replacing the private label Kmart credit card.

2001 - Kmart reintroduced the legendary Blue Light Special after a 10-year absence.

2001 - Kmart and Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Inc. announced a new long-term merchandising agreement. Kmart also expanded the Martha Stewart Everyday brands to include two new collections: Martha Stewart Everyday Keeping, an assortment of storage and organizational products, and Martha Stewart Everyday Decorating, an array of home decorating products.

2001 - Kmart signed a $4.5 billion arrangement with Fleming, making them the sole food and consumables distributor for the company's stores.

2001 - Kmart announced it will develop, produce and sell two new exclusive product lines through licensing agreements - Disney® children's clothing and JOE BOXER® apparel and home fashions.

2001 - Kmart acquired, the company's e-commerce subsidiary.

2002 - Kmart filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and announced the closing of 283 stores.

2002 - Chuck Conaway resigned as Chairman and CEO as board member James B. Adamson was appointed to serve as the company's new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Julian C. Day was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer.

2002 - Kmart debuted a new, exclusive line of Disney children's clothing under a direct-to-retail licensing agreement.

2002 - Kmart launched the JOE BOXER® fashion line under a long-term, exclusive agreement with JOE BOXER, a wholly owned division of Windsong/Allegiance Apparel Group.


January 14 - Kmart completed review of store portfolio and distribution network, and announced plans to close 316 stores and 1 distribution center. The Company also announced that it had obtained a $2 billion financing commitment from GE Commercial Finance, Fleet Retail Finance and Bank of America.

January 19 - Kmart announced the promotion of President Julian Day to Chief Executive Officer. Jim Adamson would serve as Non-Executive Chairman of Kmart's Board of Directors through the end of the reorganization case.

January 24 - Kmart filed its proposed Plan of Reorganization and announced an investment agreement with the Plan Investors, ESL Investments, Inc. and Third Avenue Value Fund.

February 25 - Kmart received Court approval to distribute its Disclosure Statement and First Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization to creditors and began to solicit acceptances of the Plan.

April 23 - The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago entered an order confirming Kmart's First Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization, as modified, following a strong vote in favor of the Plan by the Company's creditors. With this milestone achieved, the Company targeted emergence from Chapter 11 in early May 2003.

May 6 - Kmart completed its fast-track reorganization and emerged from Chapter 11 as a new and vital enterprise. The Company also closed on its $2 billion exit financing facility. Edward S. Lampert was elected Chairman of the new Board of Directors of Kmart Holding Corporation.

June 10 - The common stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol KMRT.

August 6 - Kmart launches the Thalia Sodi Collection, a line of branded apparel for women and girls, as well as footwear, accessories, jewelry, intimates, hosiery and bed and bath products, inspired by the international superstar.

October 20 - Kmart Management Corporation unveils new corporate branding advertising campaign with commercials with the new Kmart. Right Here. Right Now. theme aired during the Major League Baseball's World Series on October 19.


April 26 - Kmart and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. agree on amended terms of long-term license agreement contract to extend through 2009.

April 27 - Kmart Holding Corporation announced the opening of the Kmart Design Group Office in New York. The office, located at 111 8th Avenue, is the first product design presence Kmart has held in New York and is home to Lisa Schultz, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, and her team of designers.

May 17 - For the fourth consecutive fiscal quarter, Kmart Holding Corporation reported improved year-over-year profitability and liquidity.

May 20 - Kmart announced an exclusive integrated marketing campaign to launch five new Kmart Back-To-School fall apparel collections and The WB's new season of shows. This marketing partnership is the first of its kind where a major retail brand is working with a television network to jointly leverage their respective assets for cross promotional purposes.

August 12 - Kmart and E! Entertainment Television announce an exclusive cross-promotional alliance to launch Attention ®, a new apparel line available only at Kmart, and to promote "E! News Live," the only live daily entertainment news telecast.

October 18 - Kmart appoints Aylwin Lewis as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Lewis will also join the Kmart Board of Directors. Mr. Lewis joins Kmart from YUM! Brands, Inc., where he was President, Chief Multi-Branding and Operating Officer.

November 08 - Kmart launches the Kmart Rewards credit card. The new credit card program is being managed by HSBC - North America's retail services business and provides loyalty benefits and builds direct marketing opportunities.

November 17 - Kmart Holding Corporation and Sears, Roebuck and Co. agree to merge. The new retail company named Sears Holdings Corporation will be headquartered in Hoffman Estates, IL The combination creates the 3rd largest U.S. Retailer with $55 Billion in annual revenues and will have a broader retail presence and improved scale and operational efficiency.

November 18 - Kmart launches redesigned website emphasizing a superior e-Commerce shopping experience. The completely overhauled site offers a user-friendly interface, with easy navigation, a superior search function, as well as diversified product assortments spanning across all categories.


January 10 - Kmart Holding Corporation announced that the company would accept donations toward tsunami relief efforts by the American Red Cross at all of its stores nationwide until February 15. The Company ultimately raised more than $400,000 for the American Red Cross International Relief Fund.

March 23 - Kmart announces that ranked at the top of the annual site design report from independent technology research firm Forrester. The Kmart site ranked highest among those reviewed and was the only site to earn a passing grade.