"We're testing to see what kind of response we get from consumers," said Kmart spokesman Dave Karraker. "It does not mean that a permanent change of the URL is imminent." He added that the test is also not a precursor to changing the name of the Web store to Kmart.com.
Since Feb. 24, the company has quietly been posting the new Web address to the bottom of Kmart television advertisements. People visiting Kmart.com are being directed to BlueLight's Web store. The company can monitor how many people use each URL, Karraker said.
BlueLight began a major restructuring last spring that included a management shake-up and theof much of the Web store's operations into Kmart's.
The name BlueLight, a play on Kmart's famous "blue light specials," was chosen in the Internet boom times to differentiate it from the brick-and-mortar store, Karraker said. Executives wanted to sell goods on the site not offered at Kmart and position it as an independent company, with the intention of someday filing for an initial public offering.
After Kmart filed for bankruptcy in January, some analysts said that the retailer might be tempted to close the site. But Kmart management has said that the company intends to continue backing the e-commerce operations.