Kmart was founded by Sebastian S. Kresge when he invested in to five-and-dime stores that became the first S.S. Kresge stores in 1897.
By 1912 S.S. Kresge had 85 stores, by 1924, 257 stores, and by 1929, 597 stores.
The company first went public in 1918, trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
S.S. Kresge opened the first Kmart store on March 1, 1962. Eighteen more stores were opened that year.
In 1977 S.S. Kresge changed its name to Kmart Corporation.
Until 1990, when it was passed by Walmart, Kmart was the second-biggest retailer after Sears.
In 2002 the company filed for bankruptcy, emerging from bankruptcy protection as Kmart Holdings Corporation.
In 2004 the company bought Sears, changing its name to Sears Holding Corporation.
Today Kmart is a subsidiary of Sears Holding Corporation and has 1,221 Kmart stores in 49 states.