BOSTON — Don’t expect Wal-Mart Stores to go soft on Kmart just because its Troy, Mich. rival has a case of the revenue dwindles.
Wal-Mart is suing Kmart to prevent it from using one of its lowest-tech innovations — a shopping bag carousel that’s essentially a bagger’s lazy Susan, with hooks to hang plastic sacks. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says it patented a version of the device in December.
The carousel speeds checkout because a cashier can fill bags and rotate them to a customer, allowing the shopper to load the cart while the cashier moves onto the next customer.
A Wal-Mart spokesman said the carousel has been installed in about 1,500 stores and is standard in new or remodeled doors. He said the firm admonished Kmart to stop using the devices before filing suit Tuesday in a Delaware court. “We’ll take action when necessary to protect any Wal-Mart interest and priorities,” said the spokesman.
A Kmart spokeswoman said there are fewer than 20 carousels in its store base, which have been in use “for a couple of years.” She declined to comment further, pending review of the suit.
There’s irony in the action, since Wal-Mart’s late founder Sam Walton adopted many ideas from then-leader Kmart during his company’s early years.
“I’ll bet I’ve been in more Kmarts than anybody,” Walton recalled in his memoir“Made in America.” “I would really envy their merchandise mix and the way they presented it.”
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)