TROY, Mich. (AP) Kmart Corp. is testing a revamped logo, replacing its trademark red and blue sign with gray and lime green in an updated style.
The new sign is on one of the bankrupt retailer's stores north of Detroit, the interior of which also serves as a prototype with changes that include brighter lighting, wider aisles and a different floor plan.
Outside the store in Oakland County's White Lake Township is a Kmart sign with a large gray and lime-green K,' with the word mart' scrawled in white inside the upper diagonal of the K.'
Kmart officials stress that the changes are simply a test.
Work on the store began in August, and it has remained open. The prototype has been in the planning stages since March, Kmart spokesman Jack Ferry said Tuesday.
Kmart is trying to lure customers back into stores, after suffering slumping sales since it filed for Chapter 11 protection in January. At the time of the filing, one of the big criticisms was that stores were dirty and cluttered and often out of items.
The retailer has said it installed new software at its apparel distribution centers to help eliminate empty racks in stores. It also has been working on cleaning up stores.
Ferry said the changes at the prototype are based on feedback from customers and employees. While some of the changes, such as the wider aisles, can be seen at other Kmart stores, there are no plans to implement the other changes yet.
Kmart first wants to "gauge customer interest in what they like and what makes for a better shopping experience for our customers," Ferry said. "We see it a lot like a concept car."
Kmart posted a loss of $377 million in the second quarter, as sales lagged and the company dealt with the stigma of its bankruptcy filing.
Net sales for the period were $7.52 billion, a decrease of 15.7 percent from $8.92 billion in 2001.
The company has closed 283 stores this year.
In trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, Kmart shares were up 5 cents to close at 53 cents.
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