Monday, November 5, 2007
Aylwin B. Lewis, CEO of Sears, has been on the job for only a couple of years now. One of the main reasons he was bought over from Yum! Brands was his out-of-the-box thinking. You know those ingenious KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut all-under-one-roof fast food joints that allow you to get a 3 piece extra crispy, a burrito supreme, buffalo wings, and the necessary angioplasty all in a single trip? That was a black man's idea.
So, since I'm a Business Section Junkie, I was pretty intrigued when I heard Lewis was hired at Sears to not only redo their tired flagship stores, but also to breathe some new life into KMart, which is of course also owned by Sears. Here in DC, most of the KMart stores were closed when the company filed for bankruptcy a few years back. Since I prefer Target, I could really care less, but of course I want a black man to succeed. So, when I went into my local KMart for the first time in ages a few days ago to cop some remote control cars for AverageToddler, I was hoping for the best.
The results? Not exactly the best.
It's easy from my visit to see why KMart stays losing. The minute you walk in the store, you are literally bombarded by sheer masses of crap. There are piles of inventory literally clogging the aisles. There were rows after rows of unorganized crap just laying in the floor. I couldn't easily locate what I was there for, nor could I find anyone to help. Many of the lights in the store were simply out, so the place was uncomfortably dim in broad daylight. The store's free "Internet Cafe", an idea used to lure customers in, looked like a surefire haven for MySpace predators. Even in the largely affluent lily-white suburb where I happened to visit, KMart is still the bastion of trailerparkiness.
While I did eventually locate what I was looking for, once I got home, I opened the package to find out that not only had the RC car I bought been previously opened, it didn't even work. I returned the item, and should have bought my English-Spanish dictionary along for the trip. I have absolutely nothing against illegal immigrants, but just maybe there are some gigs, ie: customer support, that they just shouldn't be hired for. After a thoroughly confusing 30 minutes, I finally got my refund (straight cash, baybee) and got the hell outta there. Needless to say, next time I'm looking for toys for my kid, I won't head to KMart.
Aylwin B. Lewis, you got your work cut out for you, bruh.
Question: Do you have your own "KMart Sucks" story to share?