Entries in Kmart (5)


‘Big Gas’ Ad Is Kmart’s Latest Promotion to Play on Words

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Kmart’s new ad is a gas. Literally.

In its new tongue-in-cheek ad “Big Gas,” the retailer promotes a special discount on gas. Throughout the spot, customers praise the “big gas” savings and “big gas” prices, but their repeated, rapid use of the phrase makes it sound as though they’re saying “big a**.”

The ad starts out with customers getting gas at the pump.

“Ugh, I hate these big gas prices,” one woman says.

Another woman chimes in: “Sounds like you could use some big gas savings.”

There’s more of this, with customers expressing excitement over Kmart’s promotion. The retailer is offering its Shop Your Way members 30 cents off every gallon of gas when they spend at least $50 dollars at Kmart.

The retailer has had previous success with this style of commercial. Last month it released “Ship My Pants,” an ad featuring wordplay mimicking a crude joke to promote free shipping for loyalty members.

Within five days of being uploaded to YouTube, that 35-second video had nearly 10 million views.

The ad starts with a man speaking with a Kmart employee:

“Ship my pants? Right here? Ship my pants, you’re kidding,” the man says.

“You can ship you pants right here,” the worker replies.

The ad then has a number of other characters proudly saying they’ve shipped their products. The spot racked up another 7 million YouTube views before making its way to cable TV.

“Big Gas” was posted on YouTube on Wednesday, and had 92,000 views as of Thursday night.

The risqué ads may be generating buzz, but they’re not helping the company’s bottom line.

Earnings reports released late Thursday show the retailer is down 4.6 percent this quarter.

“They really need to goose things up quickly,” Lisa Granatstein, managing editor at AdWeek, told ABC News.  “But it was only one month ago that the ‘ship my pants’ campaign came out, and we have to give it time.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kmart's 'Ship My Pants' Video Goes Viral

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An advertisement for Kmart’s free shipping for loyalty members has gone viral, using wordplay in a crude joke that has resonated with the masses.

The 35-second video was published on YouTube five days ago and has more than 10 million views.

“I think it’s one of the largest number of views we’ve had,” said Kmart spokeswoman Shannelle Armstrong-Fowler.

Of the 60 videos on the Kmart YouTube site, the video has nearly 100 times as many views as the second-highest video, showing designer Eddie Ross decorating a Christmas tree.

The viral ad starts with a dad speaking with a Kmart worker:

“Ship my pants? Right here? Ship my pants, you’re kidding,” the dad says.

“You can ship your pants right here,” the worker says.

The ad then has a number of other characters proudly saying they’ve shipped their products.

Armstrong-Fowler said the video will air as a television commercial on select cable networks later this week or early next week.

“We are so excited our customers have responded in such an overwhelmingly positive way,” Armstrong-Fowler said.

The ad is a promotion for a free-shipping feature available to Kmart’s Shop Your Way customers. The feature allows customers who signed up for the free membership program to receive free shipping on 65 million products if they can’t find them in Kmart stores.

“If you want a dress in a size small that’s not in stock, we can order it in the store and have it shipped free of charge,” Armstrong-Fowler said.

Other features of the membership program include e-receipts and price advantages. Armstrong-Fowler declined to say how many Shop Your Way customers Kmart has.

In terms of the ad’s appeal, Larry Woodard, advertising columnist with ABC News and CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising, was more skeptical.

“It’s an old joke and there are a lot of commercials that have used this tactic,” he said.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kentucky Man Buys Everything at Kmart, Then Donates All to Charity

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A Kentucky businessman showed a heart of gold by buying the entire inventory of a closing K-Mart and donating it to charity.

After turning aside calls from flea markets looking to buy the inventory valued at around $200,000, Rankin Paynter, the owner of a Winchester firm that buys up surplus goods, decided to donate the merchandise to a local charity.

"I told my wife, I can make $30,000 or $40,000 on this deal but let's give it to charity," Paynter told ABC News.

During a visit to the store, the good Samaritan was checking out the display cases and a safe for his jewelry buying business when he learned the store would sell all of the merchandise on the last day of business.  One requirement: You had to be a power buyer.

Paynter had to fill out an application with the company to purchase the goods, which had everything from winter clothes to over-the-counter medicine.  According to Paynter, the day before closing the store called to offer him the whole lot.  But there was one rule.

"They said you can buy it all but you must sign a contract and take everything left in the store," Paynter told ABC News.

And, he did.  On Sunday, May 6, the businessmen stood in line for six and half hours to purchase the inventory that had to be rung up at four different registers the evening the store closed.  It took the 77-year-old two trucks, two vans and six workers to move all the items from the store to storage.  However, Payntner had no clue then what he planned on doing with all the inventory.

During a discussion with his banker, Paynter learned about a charity in the area that could use the goods he purchased.  And, after viewing some of their financial records, the Winchester businessman decided to go with Clark County Community Services, which serves low- and middle-income residents in the area.

The inventory was an early Christmas gift for the organization, which plans on boxing up the winter goods to be distributed later on this year.

"This will be the first time we will have enough coats and gloves for everybody," said Judy Crowe, the director of the non-profit organization.  The organization's Christmas program "Operation Happiness" is one of the largest in the area, serving 1,500 families in one day.

It's a decision that makes Paynter proud.

"It makes me feel good [to give to charity]," he said.  "I come from real poor background.  I'm talking really poor.  I was able to pull myself out and make a lot of money."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sears to Close 100+ Stores as Sales Fall

Tom Pennington/Getty Images(HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.) -- Sears Holdings Corp. said it will close 100 to 120 of its full-line Sears and Kmart stores as it struggles to attract shoppers.  The company said Tuesday its sales for the fourth quarter so far are off 2.6 percent compared with last year.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer Lou D’Ambrosio said, "Given our performance and the difficult economic environment, especially for big-ticket items, we intend to implement a series of actions to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model. These actions will better enable us to focus our investments on serving our customers and members through integrated retail -- at the store, online and in the home."

The company will take a fourth quarter tax-related non-cash charge of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion.

According to the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company, fourth quarter sales at its Kmart stores fell 4.4 percent and Sears domestic stores fell 6 percent for a total decline among all its stores of 5.2 percent.

“Kmart’s quarter-to-date comparable store sales decline reflects decreases in the consumer electronics and apparel categories and lower layaway sales.  Sears Domestic’s quarter-to-date sales decline was primarily driven by the consumer electronics and home appliance categories, with more than half of the decline in Sears Domestic occurring in consumer electronics. Sears apparel sales were flat and Lands’ End in Sears stores was up mid-single digits,” the company said.

Sears said its earnings excluding certain items would be $933 million in the fourth quarter -- half its level of last year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kmart Layaway Shoppers Touched by Cash-Carrying Angel

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- A few lucky Kmart shoppers were touched by an “angel” Tuesday.

An anonymous woman made a special trip to the Indianapolis Super Kmart and paid off the outstanding layaway balances of several customers, according to ABC affiliate station WRTV-TV6.

A call to Kmart’s corporate office was not immediately returned.

The “layaway angel,” a widow, went to the West Washington Super Kmart location intent on giving shoppers a happy holiday.

“She said that she had money, and she wanted to make someone’s Christmas. It was like an angel dropped out of the sky,” store manager Edna Deppe told ABC news affiliate WRTV-TV6.

Approaching shoppers, the anonymous woman paid off outstanding layaway balances that were sometimes as high as $800, according to WRTV-TV6.

Angie Torres and her young daughter were surprised at the counter. “I took out my credit card to pay my minimum balance. She said, ‘Don’t pay that. I’m going to pay it for you,’” Torres told  WRTV-TV6.

But it wasn’t just layaway customers who received the woman’s random act of kindness. After paying off outstanding balances at the layaway counter, the anonymous donor walked around the store distributing $50 bills, and even paid the bill of a customer -- for more than $400 worth of toys -- according to WRTV-TV6.

All the “angel” asked was that customers give back in the name of her late husband, according to ABC’s affiliate.

What is clear: “An Angel dropped in our store last night,” Deppe told the station.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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