Martha Stewart KA-Bars Kmart

September 16, 2009

After seeing Martha Stewart on CNBC this morning, I was surprised to find that she doesn’t sell a Martha Stewart-branded KA-Bar knife because she seems like she knows how to use one.

Stewart appeared on TV to talk about the company’s new merchandising agreement with Home Depot. The hardware big-box retailer will offer a line of products sold under the Martha Stewart brand. Before they got too far into the interview, they talked about a similar program with discount retailer Kmart that ends in January 2010 — the same time that the Home Depot deal begins.

Here is an excerpt:

The new [Kmart] ownership really has let our line deteriorate. It’s been kind of ripped off, I would say, and really diminished, and the quality is really not what I am proud of. Have you been into a Kmart lately? it’s not the nicest place to shop. …

The stores are not what they were. The shopping experience is not what it was. The products are not there that people go in for. And it’s not a good situation. And as a designer-supplier, I have been extremely disappointed.

CNBC reporter Becky Quick didn’t hide her agreement:

I’ve been in a Kmart recently too and I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s not only that the quality of the stores has dropped, it’s that it’s hard to find sales people to help you in some of these stores.

And it went on like that for a while. Are you listening, Home Depot and Macy’s? Make sure you keep making good things.

(Photo: Reuters)


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It has been a long time since K-mart has been a pleasant shopping experience. Actually I bought a Martha Stewart frying pan ages ago, and could not understand why Martha would be there. Stores are invariably messy, items are not tagged with clear prices. There is no pride in clerks or managers, a sad place indeed.

Long Live Martha, Down with K-Mart!

Posted by Axel | Report as abusive

It is not only K-mart; it’s the whole sears network that has downgraded itself!

Posted by hasty1695 | Report as abusive

I aggree my wife went into our local Kmart to buy a Flat-Screen TV they had some really good deals unfortunetly the TVs were not hooked-up to an adaquate antenna or preferbally Cable TV. So all of the pictures were sub standard. We went to Sears instead where we could see the differences in Picture Quality and ended up buying a TV there.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

I don’t have a comment.

Posted by Ludwig von Borenstein | Report as abusive

The original agreement with Martha Stewart was signed by the Chuck Conaway adminstration. While they were running the stores into the ground, they were responsible for many dubious one time programs. Conaway is currently fighting a large SEC fine for his actions. After Conaway was forced out, Kmart filed for bankruptcy and they came out majority owned by Eddie Lampert’s ESL fund. The stores were physically cleaned up, new merchandise brought in and overhead cut. The Chairman states his goal as making money and pleasing customers. Yes, they are less busy, but that is part of the plan. Until recently, Kmart/Sears has been a profitable enterprise.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

I’m a little sad that Kmart was not that successful, I shop there a lot more than most other stores. As for Martha Stewart’s merchandise, it was a little pricier. I did buy a nice Martha Stewart Everyday tumbler, though that was before I started seeing less of her stuff at the local Kmart branch. Martha is probably just selling at other stores for the money, HA!

Posted by Axel M. | Report as abusive

Alright First off martha wanted more money out of kmart, Kmart was’nt planing on renewing her contract if she was gonna ask for more money. Anyways at my store the Jacyln smith Sells alot more products and has for there not being many associates blame it on corp they don’t give money to the stores and they don’t give enough money for the management to make schedules that acturally have people in them. At my store we have 1 cashier every night 1 stock guy and maybe 2 girls becuase corporate is too cheap to give us a bigger budget and has for the stores being messy the associates i work with do a great job trying to maintain a clean and welcoming enviroment but there is only so much 30 employee can do though out a week

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

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