Environmental Scanning Introduction: Environmental scanning is the acquisition and use of information about events, trends, and relationships in an organization's external environment, the knowledge of which would assist management in planning the organization's future course of action. Organizations scan the environment in order to understand the external forces of change so that they may develop effective responses which secure or improve their position in the future. They scan in order to avoid surprises, identify threats and opportunities, gain competitive advantage, and improve long-term and short-term planning. To the extent that an organization's ability to adapt to its outside environment is dependent on knowing and interpreting the external changes that are taking place, environmental scanning constitutes a primary mode of organizational learning.

Environmental scanning includes both looking at information (viewing) and looking for information (searching). A crucial reason for environmental scanning is to stay ahead of the competition. Competitors may be gaining an edge by broadening service or product lines, improving quality, or lowering costs. Kmart Corporation is a mass merchandising company that serves America through its 1, 479 Traditional Kmart, Big K-Mart and Kmart Super Center retail outlets in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Traditional Kmart Stores is the one most people recognize. Traditional Kmart stores average between 80, 000 to 110, 000 sq.

ft. in size and can carry a full selection of general merchandise and include a Pharmacy. The first Kmart store opened in Garden City, Michigan in March 1962. Big Kmart signals a different kind of Kmart. These stores are bigger, brighter and offer big savings, big value, big selection and big convenience. Big Kmart stores are designed to increase store sales by increasing the frequency of customer visits.

The format focuses on three distinct businesses - home fashions, children's apparel and consumables - and features an expanded food area known as the 'Pantry.' The layout makes it easier for customers to shop by placing the departments our customers want to shop near one another, and closer to the front of the store. Big Kmart stores average between 84, 000 to 120, 000 sq. ft. in size. The first Big Kmart opened in Chicago, Illinois on April 23, 1997.

Kmart Super Centers are combination full-service grocery and general merchandise stores. Most Kmart Super Centers operate 24-hours a day and offer special services. Kmart Super Centers range in size from 140, 000 to 190, 000 sq. ft.

Kmart Super Centers feature in-house bakeries, USDA fresh meats, fresh seafood - delivered daily of course, a full delicatessen and a variety of specialty food kiosks. There are currently 59 Kmart Super Centers.