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Lights Out for Kmart’s

By® Staff

Originally Posted

After flushing millions of dotcom dollars down the drain, bankrupt Kmart Corp. is axing its on-line venture,, and has given the green light to aptly named

The switcheroo is part of the discount chain's post-Chapter 11 overhaul. was launched in 1999 as an independent e-commerce company, thanks to $62.5 million in venture capital plus a hefty boost from home improvement media maven and famous stock market investor Martha Stewart. Kmart bought out all shares of the floundering site last year.

In an effort to appeal to the masses and realign its brand identity, Kmart reintroduced the 40-year-old "Blue Light Special" promotional gimmick after it discontinued the special store-specific Blue Light sales in 1990. They hoped it would be a feel-good throwback to the golden days of discount retail when "Attention, Kmart shoppers!" was a part of our nation's pop culture lexicon.

The newly designed features a heightened focus on its oh-so-clever "Stuff of Life" theme and Disney product sales, although, for now, traffic still is redirected to the site. Richard Blunck, BlueLight's CEO, says the site will fully change to within a few months.

"People know the Kmart name," Blunck says, "but are less sure of the BlueLight name when it comes to on-line shopping. We believe this will draw more people to our site with less confusion."

The dial-in Internet service, used by a paltry 100,000 customers, is expected to continue for the time being.

According to Kmart’s first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2002, including three full months following the January bankruptcy filing, the company reported a net loss of $1.45 billion. This time last year, Kmart reported a net loss of $233 million.


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