RealTime IT News

Bluelight.com: Not Your Parents K Mart Anymore

K Mart , long the domain of bargain-seeking shoppers, is getting a face-lift on the Internet with the opening of its Hewlett-Packard online store Thursday.

Bluelight.com, formerly one of the nation's top free Internet service providers and online ecommerce arm for the retail giant, has lately been brought home under K Mart's financial umbrella and streamlining its operations to market items online.

Now Internet shoppers can put their HP Pavilion Desktop PC Model 7915 in the same shopping cart as their Martha Stewart home accessories and Black & Decker roto-tiller.

While still providing inexpensive dial up service (at $8.95) for its customers, more as a marketing method than to make any substantial revenues from the business, Bluelight.com has quietly been retooling K Mart's image to online shoppers.

Dave Karracker, Bluelight.com spokesperson, said the changes are part of its strategy to make K Mart as much of a presence online as they are in the real world.

"We've always viewed Bluelight.com as a Kmart Plus and it allows us to sell higher-end items," he said. "That's a direction we're definitely pursuing in the next upcoming years. It really allows us to virtually extend K Mart's inventory into some areas where it might be hard to stock items or sell better on the Internet, namely electronics and higher-end items."

HP, the popular electronics and PC supplier for the home and office, is looking at any angle to bring revenues into its flagging operations. In addition to cutting more than 6,000 jobs this year, company directors are trying to convince shareholders that a merger with Compaq Computer is in its best interests. Children of HP founder David Packard are opposed to the merger.