Kmart pioneered short-duration sales 40 years ago with the BlueLight Special, a promotional tactic that defined the retailer's image and helped to generate impulse purchases by those customers already in the store. Today's operators still use the volume-building tactic, but in a different way. In these times of fierce competition, three- or four-day sales have emerged as a key strategy for traditional supermarkets to beat the prices offered by the mass merchants and warehouse clubs, ...

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