Perhaps no story portrays the newspaper industry’s current woes as well as this:
On Monday, Kmart Corporation was named the Best Overall in the Newspaper Association of America’s third annual Retailer of the Year awards competition. The following day, Kmart filed for bankruptcy, the largest such filing ever made by a retailer.
The NAA Retailer of the Year awards were established to acknowledge those retailers that execute highly effective partnerships with newspapers in their markets. Kmart was nominated by the San Diego Union-Tribune and Gannett Co., for newspaper initiatives that resulted in a 24 percent increase in daily sales at Kmart stores and a 44 percent hike for Sunday editions.
Kmart, the third-largest discount retailer in the U.S., continues to operate all 2,114 of its stores, but analysts say that several hundred stores will be closed after a corporate review is completed at the end of April, which could mean layoffs for thousands of the company’s 240,000 workers. There is no estimate yet of how much newspaper advertising revenues could be lost.