Kmart is the third largest discount retail brand in the US behind giants Walmart and Target. Once the leading discounter in the country, Kmart struggled for years to find a secure footing in the shadow of stronger rivals offering lower prices or more stylish goods. After two years of cutbacks and store closures, Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002, emerging a year later leaner, stronger and more focused on local markets. In a bold new development, the group announced plans in late 2004 to merge with Sears to create a dynamic new retail giant with annual sales then over $50bn. Both brands were hit hard by the economic downturn from 2008 onwards, and of the two Kmart has demonstrated a slightly more convincing recovery since 2010. However it is continuing to wrestle with declining sales and lack of investment in stores.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Aug 2014: Struggling US retailer Kmart named Alasdair James, previous commercial director of global operations at Tesco, as president & chief member officer. That role had been vacant, with Ed Lampert, owner and chairman of parent Sears Holdings, acting as de facto CEO of the business. Sears is attempting convert Kmart from a traditional retailer to more of a shopping club, signing up customers to its Shop Your Way members programme. Lampert said: "Alasdair will work closely with me and our business unit leaders to understand the preferences of Shop Your Way members who shop at Kmart. He will be responsible for the Kmart strategy, its performance and its continued transformation as an integrated retail format."
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