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Kmart Launches the Multicultural Special

25 Mar, 2002 By: Hive News

Kmart Corp. unveiled its new multicultural marketing program targeting African-American and Hispanic shoppers with new radio ads this morning.

The new commercials feature original music performed by Grammy Award winners Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and Jose Feliciano.

The campaign is part of Kmart's trek back from bankruptcy. The discounter is focusing on leveraging one of the company's key points of differentiation – its vast base of ethnic shoppers, who make up 39 percent of the nearly 30 million people who shop at Kmart each week. African Americans and Hispanics alone account for 32 percent of Kmart's shoppers. Nationwide, multicultural consumers possess $1.2 trillion in joint purchasing power at a market segment growth rate seven times faster than the general population.

The chain is trying to cement its image as a provider of fundamentals with the tagline "Kmart. The Stuff of Life," or "Kmart. Las Cosas para La Vida." Campaigns are designed to illustrate Kmart and its products and exclusive brands as putting family first, offering value for money, practicality and convenience.

"With our exclusive brands, value pricing and our store locations, no mass discount retailer can match Kmart's reach and appeal to the multicultural marketplace,'' said Steven Feuling, Kmart's SVP of marketing. "We understand the value of these very loyal consumers and know our continued commitment to their shopping needs and their communities is a crucial element in Kmart's growth and success."

Outreach to the multicultural market is part of Kmart's new overall corporate branding campaign, which launched Feb. 24 to the general market. Kmart's new corporate brand positioning focuses on establishing Kmart as "The Store That Understands What Really Matters in Life." The multicultural advertising was developed from the same strategy, but will be tailored for Kmart's African-American and Hispanic shopping communities.The first stage of Kmart's multicultural marketing campaign will be local radio advertising in markets where African-American Kmart consumers have a strong presence. Created by Kmart's multicultural agency of record, Don Coleman Advertising (DCA), the spots targeting African Americans will feature original soulful music by award-winning recording artists Chaka Khan and BeBe Winans.

The second stage in the multicultural advertising campaign – television commercials –- will be seen on network and cable outlets that directly reach the Hispanic and African-American consumer over the next several weeks. The Spanish-language spots will feature musical legend Jose Feliciano.

"Kmart's goal with this multicultural corporate brand campaign is to build an emotional bond with the consumer by clearly identifying the role Kmart plays in the lives of our multicultural shoppers," Feuling said. "By demonstrating that Kmart uniquely fits diverse lifestyles and aspirations, we hope to drive consumer loyalty."

Further initiatives in Kmart's overall multicultural marketing program will include national sponsorships and grassroots efforts that directly reach regional markets or individual stores.

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