KMART'S COURT APPROVAL: Attention Kmart shoppers. You are not unsophisticated or careless just because you shop at the Troy, Mich.-based discounter.

That's what a federal judge in New York said in a recent opinion dismissing a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Reebok International against Kmart Corp. and Melville Corp.

As part of its argument, Reebok told Judge Charles H. Tenney that an allegedly infringing logo on sneakers sold at Kmart could be mistaken for a Reebok mark because Kmart stores attract unsophisticated consumers. Not so, said Judge Tenney, who weighed in with his own opinion.

"It strikes the court as more than a little elitist to believe that Kmart shoppers fail to exercise care merely because they shop at a discount store," Judge Tenney wrote. "In fact, an argument can be made that shoppers with limited budgets use more care in spending their more limited resources than shoppers at non-discount stores."

MARTINEZ TALKS STRATEGY: Arthur Martinez, chairman and chief executive officer of the Sears Merchandising Group, will discuss strategies for streamlining operations at the National Retail Federation's Logistics and Inventory Management Conference and Exhibition, May 15-18, at the Bonaventure Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Other highlights of the meeting include a discussion of military logistics procedures for the business world and a panel discussion of senior vice presidents of major stores focusing on challenges for retailers.

SHOPKO NAMES MCCONNELL: Christine Wertz McConnell has been appointed divisional merchandise manager for all women's apparel for ShopKo. She had been with Prange's Department Stores since 1975 and was its vice president and general merchandise manager from 1986 to 1992. ShopKo, based in Green Bay, Wis., operates 122 stores.

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