People know that Detroit is the Motor City but few think about Detroit’s other industrial leaders. When it comes to retailing, Sebastian Spering Kresge would definitely deserve a place in Detroit’s business hall of fame.
Kresge was a retail pioneer starting as a traveling salesperson calling on the F. W. Woolworth stores. Kresge liked the format of the stores and felt he could improve on the five and ten cent store concept. Along with another five and dime maverick, John McCrory, an investment was made for the first S. S. Kresge store in 1897. They would incorporate two years later with a store in downtown Detroit and a second in Memphis.
Kresge’s $8,000 investment would grow over the years as his stores grew exponentially. By the 1960’s Kresge’s company would experiment with a new retail concept by opening the first Kmart store. Kmart would grow into the nation’s largest retailer with operations in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. At its peak it also owned specialty retailers including Office Max and The Sports Authority.
Kresge’s family ran the retailer but as the Kmart concept took over the family slowly backed out of the operation of their retailer. A string of bad decision would lead to the company’s bankruptcy filing in 2001. Captured in the book “Kmart’s Ten Deadly Sins” chronicles these mistakes that allowed Walmart to take over as the nation’s and world’s largest retailer.
Helpful article series
- 7 Deadly sins of signage.
- 5 Deadly small business mistakes.
- Top tips for using Linked In- a series of the top three best practices for using Linked In to build business.
- Top marketing mistakes- includes a humorous video of leading marketing mistakes.
- Differentiate the right way- a series of articles about best practices in attracting customers.
Business development by the numbers
- “60 Insights for Mastering Business Development”.
- “8 Pillars of Career and Business Success”.
- “5 Kick-A** Strategies Every Business Needs”: to explode sales, stun the competition, wow customers and achieve exponential growth.
- “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”: Follow them and people will follow you.
- “Life’s Leadership Lessons”: 53 anecdotal leadership lessons. Paperback, Kindle, Apple or Nook.
- “The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan”: How to take charge, build your team, and get immediate results