K-Mart Australia has spent the last 19 months testing the waters with new stores in the US – using a completely different name!
The exclusive to K-Mart brand, Anko has seen 3 stores open across the US – using its name, instead of K-Mart.
Considering the US already have their own K-Mart stores (which are trademarked to the US), the move to name the stores Anko makes sense. For those that aren’t familiar, Anko is basically K-Mart‘s home-brand of infinite goodies. It also stands for “A new kind of”.
Definitely a whole new kind of
Starting with the first Anko store in Washington, back in October 2018, the stores have soared in popularity. Anko stores in the US sell affordable homeware, trendy furniture, decor, cookware, bedding and clothes.
The stores also boast a cat cafe and calligraphy classes!
The pop-up cat cafe in Anko stores offer shoppers to adopt a pet ‘in need of a forever home’, while enjoying a ‘free crafted espresso drink’.
“Born in Australia, Anko is an exciting new retailer on a mission to ko-create value with globally inspired design” – Anko website
True to its reputation, Anko has continued to offer low prices on the goods in the US. It actually looks like Anko is cheaper in the US than here in Australia!
Many items sold in US Anko stores are identical to the Anko products we can find at K-Mart Australia stores. Check out the images above, showing the same rug sold at both Anko and K-Mart Australia.
What this means for us in Australia
“Basically Target meets IKEA” – US magazine House Beautiful
“At Anko, you can find furniture, the latest fashion in clothing, household essentials, travel gear, holiday decor, party supplies, and more” – House Beautiful
“The conversion of suitable Target Country stores to small format “Kmart Hub” stores will leverage Kmart Group’s learnings from trialling small format Anko stores in the United States while providing regional customers with increased access to a selected range of Kmart’s home, apparel and general merchandise products” – Wesfarmers
In a heart-breaking turn of events for US shoppers, Wesfarmers announced the trial will be complete within a few months. This will mean all the Anko stores in the US will shut their doors permanently.
“Coinciding with the significant changes to the store networks in Kmart and Target, Kmart Group will complete the trial of Anko stores in Seattle, United States prior to the end of the financial year and close these operations” – Wesfarmers
In good news though, Target employees will be offered jobs at K-Mark, Bunnings, Officeworks and other Wesfarmers companies.
We are crossing our fingers and toes that we will see Anko stores popping up soon. Cat cafe included, of course!