More than one hundred years ago, Sebastian Spering Kresge opened a modest five-and-dime store in downtown Detroit...and changed the entire landscape of retailing. The store that Kresge built has evolved into an empire of more than 1,500 stores and an Internet presence that reaches millions of customers. The Kmart name has become a symbol of Americana, standing for quality products at low prices.
When Kresge opened his first store in 1899, he sold everything for 5 and 10 cents. The low prices appealed to shoppers and allowed him to expand to 85 stores in 1912, with annual sales of more than $10 million.
War and financial depressions hit America hard over the next decades, but Kresge stores were always there to offer families products at prices they could afford. They also offered people what other businesses at the time could not -- jobs to support their families.
As time went on, prices may have changed, but the business philosophy stayed the same -- offer consumers products they need at prices they can afford -- and they'll keep coming back.
By the mid-1920s, the S.S. Kresge Company was opening locations that sold items for $1 or less, a precursor to the current discount store. These ''green-front'' stores often were right next to the traditional red-front five-and-dime Kresge stores.
Ten years later in 1937, Kresge opened a store in the country's first suburban shopping center -- Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. Read Full Story about Kmart Here...