Kmart Corporation today announced that Robert E. Dewar, former Chairman of the Board of Kmart Corporation, died yesterday at his home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., at the age of 77.
Dewar oversaw the company's rapid growth in the 1970s, opening a record 271 Kmart stores in 1976. This was the first time a retailer launched 17 million square feet of retail space in a single year making Kmart the number one discount retailer in the country. From 1970 until he stepped down as Chairman in 1980, Kmart opened over 1,000 stores and sales increased from $2.5 billion to $14.2 billion.
"Bob Dewar's leadership provided the strong store base our company thrives on today. His contributions to Kmart will be remembered by all who had the pleasure of working with him," said Shawn Kahle, Kmart Vice President for Corporate Affairs.
Born in Traverse City, Mich., Dewar began his career at Kmart in 1948 in the company's Legal Department. Progressing through various financial positions of greater responsibility, he was appointed President and Chief Administrative Officer in 1970. In 1972 he was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
In 1980, Dewar stepped down as Chairman of the Board, remaining on the Board as Chairman of the Executive Committee until 1986 and of the Finance Committee until 1988. He retired from the company in 1988.
During his long service with Kmart, Dewar forged enduring relationships with the Detroit community serving on the boards of several philanthropic organizations. In 1980, he became Chairman of the Michigan Opera Theatre and was instrumental in the MOT's growth and reputation as a premier opera company.
Dewar obtained is law degree in 1948 from Wayne State University.
He is survived by his wife Nancy, a son John, a daughter Jane, two grandchildren and a brother Dale.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11 at the Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church, 1240 W. Long Lake Rd., in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Interment will be in Kirk in the Hills.
Kmart Corporation serves America with 2,164 Kmart, Big Kmart and Super Kmart retail outlets. In addition to serving all 50 states, Kmart operations extend to Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More information about Kmart is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.bluelight.com/ under the "About Kmart" section.
SOURCE: Kmart Corporation
Contact: Mary Lorencz of Kmart Media Relations, 248-643-1021