BlueLight.com, the Kmart Corp. subsidiary that includes Kmart.com, recently tripled the number of subscribers to its BlueLight ISP service, the retailer tells InternetRetailer.com. The company says the service is generating profits as well as providing a valuable cross-marketing channel for Kmart’s online and brick-and-mortar retail operations.
In a single ad that ran in Kmart’s weekly printed circular last Sunday, offering one month of free ISP service, "We tripled our number of subscribers," a spokesman says. Although the spokesman declined to give a current number of subscribers, Kmart said in July that it had "about 160,000" subscribers to its ISP, which is called BlueLight Unlimited Internet Service. That would bring its total number of subscribers to about 480,000.
The BlueLight ISP is offered at a regular monthly fee of $8.95, which is low for the ISP industry. But the service generates profits for Kmart, the spokesman says, largely because of its low cost of acquiring subscribers through cross-marketing programs with Kmart’s other operations.
More important than the profits the BlueLight ISP generates, however, is the ability it provides to market Kmart’s online and offline operations to its ISP subscribers. "That’s the key thing, cross-marketing," the spokesman says, adding that BlueLight.com is beginning spend more efforts on marketing after pulling back following parent Kmart’s bankruptcy filing in January.
In addition, the spokesman confirmed earlier reports that Kmart.com will offer sales of services, such as travel and financial services, through alliance partnerships. He declined to say when such services would become available.