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Kmart launches diverse campaign

Kmart expanded its focus on multicultural customers last week, launching the first stage of a new marketing campaign that features original music performed by Grammy winners Chaka Khan, Jose Feliciano and Christian music vocalist BeBe Winans.

Targeting African-Americans and Hispanics, the campaign began with a nationwide radio campaign, and television advertising will roll out within the next few weeks.

The new marketing efforts attempt to leverage one of Kmart's key points of differentiation — its multicultural shoppers, who make up about 39 percent of the 30 million customers who shop the discounter every week. African-Americans and Hispanics alone account for 32 percent of Kmart's shoppers, the company said.

"With our exclusive brands, value pricing and our store locations, no mass discount retailer can match Kmart's reach and appeal to the multicultural marketplace," said Steven Feuling, senior vp of marketing. "We understand the value of these very loyal consumers and know our continued commitment to their shopping needs and their communities is a crucial element in Kmart's growth and success."

Kmart began the new marketing emphasis with local radio advertising in areas where African-American Kmart consumers have a strong presence. These ads, created by Kmart's multicultural agency of record, Don Coleman Advertising, will target African-Americans and feature original music by Khan and Winans.

Television advertising will then be seen within several weeks on network and cable outlets that directly reach the Hispanic and African-American markets. The Spanish-language spots will feature musician Feliciano.

As with the recently unveiled advertising campaign for the general market, the tagline for the multicultural advertising will be "Kmart. The Stuff of Life" or "Kmart. Las Cosas para La Vida."

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