Major changes are on the cards for Kmart, Wal-Mart's closest US competitor, after a disappointing performance this year. A management shake up, aggressive promotional activities and improvements to infrastructure are all being touted by analysts ahead of a meeting on August 10 to discuss what action ought to be taken to correct the retailer's flagging market position. Chairman Chuck Conaway warned second quarter profits would be at the lower end of market expectations but promised "swift and decisive action to improve our return on invested capital". Announcing the closure of 72 of the 2,165 stores, he said the company planned to invest heavily in distribution, logistics, and more efficient inventory control. The restructuring would incur a pretax charge of $740m. To speed up the proposed inventory reductions, there will be clearance and liquidation sales at the axed stores. Investors have recovered some confidence in the business, but analysts say Kmart's low share price still makes it vulnerable to a takeover bid, with stocks plummeting more than 50% in the last year. {{NEWS }}