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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Kmart can’t be Target

Consumed => “Why Can’t Kmart Be Successful While Target and Walmart Thrive?” by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi on HBR.

Left a comment…

Much of the theory presented above certainly does seem to hold water. However, to discount (no pun intended) location, location, location IMHO leaves a significant gap in the argument presented. While I haven’t done a scientific study, my general sense is that Kmart is in older strip malls, with less prestigious fellow tenants, in an area of town that’s not what it used to be, etc. Walmart and Target don’t have such baggage. Yet! In other words, Kmart rode a previous wave of suburban sprawl. While Target and Walmart are on the crest of a new wave.

So it seems to me that there’s a reason why Kmart can’t be Target, and might actually be better off not trying to be. It’s one thing to use marketing to differentiation, it’s another when it causes disconnect. I agree that there are things Kmart can do, but there is context not mentioned above that has significant impact on their options.

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