business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Detroit News reports on the new mindset at Kmart, where managers "aren't eager to spend a dime extra unless they'll get it back in higher sales, increased shopper traffic and a rising share price," a approach that alone serves to "differentiate them from their predecessors, who seldom saw a perk they wouldn't willingly exploit."

At the helm is the company's new chairman and controlling shareholder, Eddie Lampert, who "doesn't spend anything he doesn't have to" and won't "shrink from potentially nasty fights if he thinks confrontation is in the best interest of Kmart Holdings Corp." Which explains, according to the paper, why Kmart is suing almost 500 local governments for a total of $8.6 million in what it believes are property taxes improperly assessed while it was in bankruptcy.
KC's View:
We still think that suing communities on which you depend for a relatively small amount of money is a dopey thing to do. If we lived in a town being hurt by such a suit, and we knew that having to refund property taxes would have an impact on public school funding (which it will in many cases), not only would we refuse to shop at Kmart, but we might get on a picket line to protest the retailer's moves.

This is what happens when non-retailers run retailing entities. They just don't get the nature of the relationship that should - and must - exist between shopper and shopkeeper.