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., formerly one of the nation’s top free Internet service
providers and online ecommerce arm for the retail giant, has lately been brought
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, has quietly been retooling K Mart’s image
to online shoppers.

Dave Karracker, 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 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.

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