Ailing Kmart Corp. launched a new marketing campaign Monday that targets African-American and Latino shoppers.
The campaign, which will be conducted in stages, began with radio advertising in markets dominated by African-American consumers. The spots feature original music by Chaka Khan and BeBe Winans.
"Music plays such an important role in the lives of the African-American community and the world in general," said Khan, known for such songs as "I'm Every Woman" and "Ain't Nobody."
In the coming weeks, television commercials will be released in markets with major African-American and Latino populations. The Spanish-language spots feature music by Jose Feliciano.
As with the retailer's recent general consumer campaign, the tagline for the new ads will be "Kmart. The Stuff of Life" or "Kmart. Las Cosas para la Vida."
The Michigan-based retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after lower-than-expected holiday sales, downgrades by several credit-rating agencies and a slumping stock price. Kmart has struggled to compete with less-expensive Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and trendier Target Corp. in the discount market.
African-Americans and Latinos account for 32 percent of Kmart's customers each week, company officials said.
"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," said Steven Feuling, Kmart's senior vice president for marketing.
unknown, Associated Press. March 28, 2002
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