S. S. Kresge, the founder of the company that would become Kmart, met variety-store pioneer Frank Winfield Woolworth while working as a traveling salesman and selling to all 19 of Woolworth's stores at the time. In 1897, Kresge invested $6,700 saved from his job into a five-and-dime store in Memphis, Tennessee.
With a simple but profound directive, “To promote the well-being of mankind,” The Kresge Foundation was established in 1924 by Detroit retail magnate Sebastian Spering Kresge. Mr. Kresge was born in 1867 in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, in humble surroundings, the son of Pennsylvania Dutch farmers who emigrated from Switzerland in the mid-1700s.
Kmart, original name S.S. Kresge Co., American retail chain with a history of marketing general merchandise primarily through discount and variety stores. It is a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation.
Kresge was married three times: to Anna E. Harvey, with whom he had five children; with Doris (Mercer) Harden; and with Clara Katherine (Zitz) Swaine. Sebastian Kresge was known for his generosity. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the S.S. Kresge Company, he started the Kresge Foundation in 1924 to “promote the well-being of mankind.”
S. S. Kresge Company1907–1925. Kresge built the precursor to K-Mart, one of the first mass discounters. He started with ten-cent stores and developed full-fledged variety stores. By his retirement, his chain had almost 600 United States stores, a Canadian subsidiary, and annual sales of $156 million.
Died: October 18, 1966 East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania Entrepreneur and philanthropist S. S. Kresge worked hard, spent his money only when necessary, and saved it wisely. This penny-pinching attitude, which began early in life, led him to become an extremely successful businessman and a generous multimillionaire.
S. S. Kresge. (Sebastian Spering Kresge) merchant, philanthropist. Born: 7/31/1867. Birthplace: Bald Mount, Pa. With a newly minted business degree in hand, Kresge worked as a traveling tinware salesman (1890–97) before opening the first of his discount retail stores whose merchandise was all priced at less than a dime.