S.S. Kresge, the variety store chain, decides to expand their business by opening their first department store. On March 1st, 1962, the first Kmart opens in Garden City, MI. Kresge opens their store four months before Sam Walton opens his first Wal-Mart.
The Blue Light Special, proudly announced over the store’s public address system with “Attention Kmart Shoppers…” started in 1965. Recognizing the shift in popularity from their smaller Kresge variety stores to their larger department stores, S.S. Kresge Corporation became Kmart Corporation in 1977.
Kmart quickly grew to become the second largest retailer behind Sears. It held this place until passed by Wal-Mart in November of 1990 and, unfortunately, the brand began to fade. On November 17, 2004, Kmart Holding acquired Sears Holding. Kmart operates over 950 stores.