Kmart is one of the largest retail discount chains in the United States aimed to revolutionize the way Americans shop. The company’s goal is to provide families with everyday products at the lowest prices. They strive to provide superior customer support at very accessible and convenient locations.
S.S. Kresge, Kmart’s founder, started the chain’s history from a single nickel-and-dime store in Memphis. From there grew another store in Dallas which started the S.S. Krege store chains. In 1912, the S.S. Krege brand was incorporated with over 80 stores in Delaware under its belt.
In 1916, the company known as Kmart was incorporated in Michigan. But because of the war and the great depression, sales were dismal and stores closed. After the war and under new management, the first Kmart named store was opened in Garden City Michigan in 1962. From then on, several branches sprouted across the United States, Canada, and even Puerto Rico. In its peak, Kmart operated over 2000 stores worldwide.
Each Kmart employee gets a comprehensive benefits plan that includes health care and dependent care coverage. It also includes medical, dental and vision plans, paid holidays and time off, life insurance, disability protection, and 401(k) retirement plan. The company also provides on-site fitness centers, day care, dry cleaning, and wellness centers for its employees.
Kmart strives to maintain its edge above other retail stores even in the face of adversity. It continues to provide competitive wages and benefits especially those starting their careers. It provides generous pay, activities to keep work and life balance and a real change for growth with the company.
How old do you have to be to work at Kmart?
Applicants 16 years old and older can readily find work in Kmart stores. Positions in distribution centers and warehouses that require the use of heavy machinery or heavy lifting have a minimum age requirement of 18.
Kmart is an equal opportunity employer with diverse hiring practices. In Kmart, there are plenty of entry-level, part-time or full-time opportunities available nationwide. Here are some of the posts available:
Cashier: Cashiers are regular, part-time employees that are directly responsible to keep customer satisfaction at the center of everything they do. They’re responsible for efficiently handling the cash register and accurately process and record all transactions and forms of tender as well as layaway payments.
Layaway Associate: Responsible for efficiently processing all layaway transactions and ensures adherence to store policies on check and card transactions. They also assist in processing refunded merchandise and process Return to Shelf (RTS) daily reports. They also promote the use of Kmart’s credit card, smart plans and any add-on sales activities.
Customer Service – Salesfloor Associate: Salesfloor associates are front-line, on-site customer support. They’re directly responsible for handling and solving customer needs, inquiries or complains. They’re also tasked to support the store through upselling campaigns and creating powerful displays to maximize interest and sales potential.
Customer Service – Apparel: Customer service specialists ensure the effective replenishment and merchandising of products. Associates assist the department lead in maintaining merchandise assortment and pricing integrity. They use merchandising presentations to drive sales and ensures the daily meeting or exceeding sales goals per department.
Service Desk Associate: Service Desk employees are responsible for the following daily duties: directly assisting customers in all of their concerns and inquiries, managing register transactions, making intercom announcements and completing other business transactions such as wire transfers and money orders. Associates may also perform other duties as assigned.
Morning Replenishment Associate: These associates are regular, part-time employees responsible for sales support activities. They’re responsible for replenishing and relocating merchandise on and off the sales floor, building and maintaining ad displays and ensure that all displays following the Company standards in merchandising displays.
Loss Prevention Associate: Associates are responsible for protecting company assets by monitoring inventory in and outflow, identifying external and internal threats and implementing security processes to prevent loss and theft. Associates also monitor surveillance equipment and apprehend shoplifting suspects.
Exit Monitor: Monitors are responsible for asset protection and loss prevention. They engage members as they exit the store, monitor exit alarms and conduct receipt spot checks, especially for high-value purchases. Monitors work together with the Loss Prevention and Assistant store manage to effectively implement asset protection guidelines.
Restaurant Associate: Associates are responsible to provide superior customer experience in the store’s restaurant. Associates also ensure compliance to industry food standards, assists in keeping the restaurant clean and all equipment functioning properly. Associates also check supplies on a regular basis and alerts lead if orders or new supplies are needed.
Softlines and Hardlines Lead: Oversees overall performance of all customer service and sales associates in their respective area (Softline or hardline). Leads conduct performance reviews and training sessions to address developmental needs. They also conduct regular checks to ensure an associate’s compliance with company rules and regulations. At times, leads are expected to do customer service and sales associate responsibilities.
Both in-store and online applications are available at Kmart.
All Kmart stores have kiosks that you can use to fill out an application. There are no additional benefits with applying this way but it is the recommended option for those who don’t have access to a computer or internet connection.
To apply online, applicants can visit the Careers page in the Sears website. There, they will find all open career opportunities with Kmart. Each job posting will have a detailed description and qualifications requirements to brief applicants of what the company expects and is looking for. Once decided, applicants should click on the Apply button, fill the application form and upload their updated resumes.
Applying to Kmart automatically enrolls applicants to the stores Talent Network. This feature assists prospective employees to enhance their job search and application process. They will be kept updated of store related updates and newly opened job opportunities.
Submitted resumes should provide accurate basic personal, education and employment history. It is recommended for entry-level applicants to include previous retail and customer service experience in their forms.
In the application process, candidates would also need to take a behavioral assessment. It’s a series of questions designed to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the company. Kmart will also ask permission to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background check. Declining to either step will automatically disqualify an applicant from consideration.
Things to know about Kmart
With the number of retail discount chains in the country, Kmart has always faced very steep competition and constantly in peril of bankruptcy. Such an event happened in the early 2000s which led to the merger with Sears Holdings. With their partnership and the changes it brought, Kmart struggled to keep afloat amidst very challenging situations.
To help in this transition, Kmart employed the Sears winning culture. A cultured centered in making money, about testing and challenging. To support this culture, employees were trained to think and act as if the money is their own money. This strategy brought ownership and passion up to its baseline levels.
Even with this change, Kmart still carried its Blue Light Specials brand. These are special discounts given to items from a specific department of the store. It is announced by lighting up a mobile police light and announcing the discount special over the store’s intercom. The phrase “Attention Kmart shoppers!” became a popular catchphrase at the height of its success.
Aside from giving incredible discounts, Kmart also has a lot of community-based efforts centered on helping improve people’s lives. With Kmart Cares, non-profit organizations can partner with local Kmart stores to help people in their communities in disaster situations and rebuilding initiatives. Kmart for Kids is an initiative focused on providing easy and affordable access to health and wellness resources.