TROY, MI: Kmart is targeting urban shoppers with a new newspaper supplement, Urban Direct, which contains entertainment and lifestyle stories, and features Kmart products.
The new weekly paper is being distributed with Kmart ad circulars in newspapers aimed at minority communities in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Miami, East Brunswick, NJ, and on Long Island. Roughly 1 million copies are being distributed each week.
Printed on slick magazine paper stock, the first issue of each month will be eight pages; subsequent issues will be four pages. The first issue features LL Cool J on its cover.
"It speaks to urban cultures in things that address their needs," said Susan Dennis, senior media relations specialist at Kmart.
While the new publication is being overseen by Kmart's ad department, it is PR-focused, and the communications department is supporting the publication with media relations.
"It's really a tool to build a relationship with these audiences," said Dennis. "This is a way to build more loyalty among our customers as we emerge from Chapter 11."
While it has closed hundreds of stores as it reorganizes, Kmart still has a major presence in US urban areas. Indeed, retail analysts have indicated that urban areas are Kmart's strength since major competitors like Wal-Mart and Target do not have the same store penetration in inner cities as does Kmart.
To produce Urban Direct, the retailer is working with Alturas Communications, a minority-owned, integrated marketing communications firm based in Denver.
Last September, Alturas created La Vida for Kmart, a similar publication aimed at Hispanics.