Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kmart's New Idea

Kmart's new recession play: Discounts for the unemployed

So Kmart has come up with a novel way to hang on to those customers until they're back at work and spending freely by giving them discounts now. The chain has introduced a Smart Assist program that will give the unemployed nationwide a 20 percent discount off 1,500 food and household staples from Kmart's various store brands.

The program was tested this summer in Michigan -- the first state to top 15 percent unemployment in 25 years -- and Kmart got praise there from the governor and the mayor of Detroit.

There are a few catches: The discount cards, which will be issued through January 2010, are only good for six months -- less time than many Detroit auto workers have been out of work. And while shoppers can apply privately on-line, they still have to present their unemployment documentation at checkout to use their discount card.

After a back-to-school season when parents had to put pencils and notebooks on layaway to make ends meet, the fear that a "jobless recovery" will gum up the works is very real. It's coloring even the rosier holiday sales forecasts.

More of the article here. Do you think it will help?!

No comments: