For the most part, gone are the days of blue-light specials, "Attention Kmart Shoppers" as an oft-repeated catch phrase, and stylish partnerships with the likes of Martha Stewart. It's been bad news after bad news for years now, and stores are closing left and right. So when I saw a recent catalog for Kmart Australia, I did a double take and was surprised by what I saw.
Because of Google, I now know that Kmart Australia is owned by Australian parent company Wesfarmers, which retained the rights to the Kmart name after a series of corporate maneuvers and shenanigans that separated the two stores. It has no affiliation with the American brand and hasn't for years. (Oddly, Wesfarmers also owns Target Australia, which also has no connection to the American store of the same name, despite a similar logo....)
I can't speak to the quality of their items, or their company practices, but at first glance, Kmart Australia's homewares are a real winner and here's why:
1. Their catalog and website are well styled. Their most recent homewares shoot involved Scandi-style pastel decor reminiscent of Ferm Living and others.
2. Their prices are accessible. Above, an outtake of their June 2016 catalog and a selection of smaller housewares.
3. The #kmartaustralia hashtag yields tons of shelf shots, shared by shoppers, featuring tons of products currently on display in stores — like this canister selection from July 1st, 2016.
4. It has a VERY loyal following, inspiring the hashtags #kmartlovers, #kmartaddictsunite, and #kmartstyling — not to mention full Instagram accounts like @thekmartdiaries and @the_kmart_forecast to name just a few — where people post their latest finds and style their buys in cute vignettes. Above, a nice grouping from Sweet Bliss Art.
5. They stock current trends (which these days means minimalist designs, pastels, marble, and copper) that blend in nicely with high end interiors. In the photo above, the plant stand, plant pot and marble coaster all came from Kmart. via Instagram.
6. It's like another Target. But not. Because it's not here in the U.S.