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Kmart Eyes Store Renovations to Revive Customer Experience

TROY, Mich. - Marking the first major investment in its aging store base since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, Kmart Holding Corp. plans to renovate a number of its stores in key markets, according to published reports.

Although Kmart officials declined to detail specific locations and the number of stores that would be renovated, remodeling work got under way last week at the beleaguered retailer's stores in White Plains, N.Y. and Boca Raton, Fla. "We are committed to improving the customer experience, and these stores are an example of how we're working to do that," Kmart spokesman Stephen Pagnani told the Detroit Free Press.

The company also has initiated a multipronged effort to reinvent its clothing lines for greater appeal with young shoppers, according to the report, which characterized the fate of Kmart "as the focus of considerable local and national speculation for the past year as it sold stores and watched its stock price increase fourfold."

Kmart recently sold 68 stores for $847 million to Sears Roebuck & Co. and Home Depot, Inc. Kmart closed 599 stores during its bankruptcy and has seen sales fall from $36 billion to $23 billion. Despite that, the company's stock price has skyrocketed from the low of $22.41 to Monday's close of $90.20 as investors speculate on Kmart's latest plans.
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