Well looky looky here, it seems Kmart is branching out – but not as we know it – and the USA are enjoying the spoils!
Kmart is not exactly new to the US, they have their own chain of stores by the very same moniker as ours – just without ALL THE GOOD STUFF. There’s no one more confused than Americans who watch our excited Aussie Kmart haul on social media, wondering WTAF KMART? #wrongkmart
Kmart trial stores in the US
It’s a little sneaky and we’re only just cottoning on to it, but it appears Kmart have been trialling their wares on a smaller scale in the US, these past 18 months. The realisation of such is perhaps a MASSIVE hint of what’s to come here in Australia.
Without being able to use the already US trademarked Kmart name, Kmart Australia and New Zealand’s owner, Wesfarmers had to go with a different name. And Anko it is! It’ll come as no surprise to us since Kmart shelves are brimming with Kmart’s private label – Anko.
In summary, long story short – Kmart as we know it here in Australia and over the ditch in New Zealand, is known as Anko in the United States. OH HAPPY DAY!
Same, same but different
Now while the concept is similar between US Anko and Australian Kmart stores, there are certainly some differences to be noted. For one, Anko stores are notably smaller than the average Australian Kmart store.
- Products are very similar, if not the same to what we see in our Kmart stores here. However, there’s not a $10 kettle or $20 air fryer to be seen anywhere. It appears Anko doesn’t offer electrical goods at all. No sausage roll maker for you!
- It’s reportedly a super bright and fun store with loads of pop-up activities to entice customers including calligraphy classes, a cookie-dough giveaway and A CAT CAFE where you can adopt a new feline friend.
- Anko products are CHEAP. Cheaper than cheap. Which is interesting. By comparison, the popular Kmart Topiary which retails for $25 here, sells for just USD$9.50 at Anko. That’s around $13 Australian dollars for those playing at home. What a steal!
Might I add these are all worthy suggestions for our own Aussie stores. Kmart, if you’re listening…
Is this what’s in store for Australia?
Last week we learned that a large number of Target stores would be closing, with some to morph into Kmart stores. Which brings us to talk about the elephant in the room.
How would these small Target stores become the same Kmart superstores we’ve grown to love? Perhaps this more boutique off-shoot Anko-style Kmart is the answer.
And we’re bang on the money.
“Last week, Wesfarmers announced that almost 100 Target stores would be converted to ‘Kmart Hub’ stores, a format that doesn’t exist in Australia yet.”
“The conversion of suitable Target Country stores to small format Kmart Hub stores will leverage Kmart Group’s leanings from trialling small format Anko stores in the US while providing regional customers with increased access to a selected range of Kmart’s home, apparel and general merchandise products,” Wesfarmers said last week.
Enjoy it while it lasts!
It appears that the US store days are numbered. Wesfarmers has said it will close all of its Anko stores within months, ahead of the first Kmart Hub opening in regional Australia! So run, don’t walk and shop up your groovy tea towels, cheap prints, excellent spatulas and bargain homewares NOW.
What do you think – are you all for mini Kmart Hub stores replacing Target?