Over the past decade, Kmart has gone from failing bargain brand to the nation’s one-stop shop for fashion and homewares – all thanks to a group of social media influencers who don’t earn a single cent.
Dubbed ‘Kmart influencers’, this group of Australian lifestyle bloggers have revived the label thanks to savvy styling and creative content which makes Kmart attire appear infinitely more expensive than its budget price tag.
Unlike typical influencers who earn set fees for sponsored posts and receive complimentary promotional products, Kmart’s biggest endorsers are not only unpaid, but they also buy the outfits they plug themselves.
So who are the women behind Australia’s biggest brand revival?
A group of social media savvy women have taken Kmart from failing bargain brand to Australia’s one-stop shop for fashion and homewares, thanks to creative content creation and smart styling (pictured, affordable fashion blogger Tina Abeysekara in a Kmart twin-set)
TINA – @trashtotreasured
Boasting 89,200 followers, Tina Abeysekara, 33, is one of Kmart’s biggest influencers.
The Sydney-based fashion blogger, who posts as Trash to Treasured, proves style can be achieved on a shoestring budget with her clever choices of Kmart clothing, including floral midi-dresses and linen blazers.
Tina prides herself on never spending more than $150 on an entire outfit, and previously told FEMAIL how she bags the best bargains at Kmart.
‘When it comes to Kmart and Target, they have 50 to 60 per cent of their stock all year round – and you’ll never find much good,’ she said.
‘But it’s all about heading straight to the front section, where they’ll put the newer, more fashion-focused items which are replaced roughly once every three weeks.’
While Tina has partnerships with other major brands including Marks and Spencer, she styles her Kmart looks free of charge.
For context, Tammy Hembrow, Australia’s 11th most followed Instagram star, can bank up to $33,000 per single upload.
The fee is estimated based both on Tammy’s current following, and the level of interaction from fans across her 12 most recent posts, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
And although it might appear glamorous, Tina admitted having a huge following isn’t always easy.
‘I get so many questions and quite often, none of them even start with a hello or thank you, which can be quite draining. You have to take some time out for yourself sometimes,’ she told the Daily Telegraph.
Brisbane blogger Curvy Sam (pictured) is another member of the Kmart influencer gang, sharing styling tips and complete outfits from the budget retailer with her 28,400 followers
WHO ARE AUSTRALIA’S ‘MOST FOLLOWED’ ON INSTAGRAM?
1. Chris Hemsworth – 38.5 million
2. Hugh Jackman – 28.3 million
3. Margot Robbie – 17.1 million
4. Ruby Rose – 14.3 million
5. Katherine Langford – 14.1 million
6. Liam Hemsworth – 14 million
7. Iggy Azalea – 13.3 million
8. Miranda Kerr – 12.2 million
9. Kayla Itsines – 11.8 million
10. Troye Sivan – 10.9 million
WHO ARE AUSTRALIA’S ‘MOST FOLLOWED’ ON INSTAGRAM?
11. Tammy Hembrow – 10 million
12. Rebel Wilson – 6.7 million
13. Maia Mitchell – 6.3 million
14. Luke Hemmings – 6.2 million
15. Nicole Kidman – 5.6 million
16. Phoebe Tonkin – 5.3 million
17. Ashton Irwin – 5.3 million
18. Ben Simmons – 4.6 million
19. Cody Simpson – 3.6 million
20. Calum von Moger – 2.9 million
DANI – @luxeandlemonade
Dani, from Sydney, runs affordable style blog Luxe and Lemonade.
The stylish brunette, who boasts 13,400 followers, fell into the world of Kmart influencing after she started sharing her ‘outfits of the day’ as a hobby.
‘Some people like to go running and get a thrill out of that, but I just like to run in Kmart – that’s my cardio,’ she told News.com.au.
Dani was keen to stress that she hasn’t earned a cent from sharing her Kmart looks.
‘I’ve not made a dollar from this and I’m cool with that. This is my hobby and it’s not something I would monetise,’ she said.
Sydney fashion blogger Dani, aka Luxe and Lemonade (pictured) says she gets her cardio from running around Kmart, but doesn’t make a cent for sharing the chic outfits she styles
CLAIRE – @TheKmartLover
Claire, from Tasmania, is the brains behind popular Instagram account The Kmart Lover.
With almost 100,000 followers, her well-established page focuses on affordable household interiors with basic Kmart accessories like foot stools, mirrors and bed linen.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, bloggers with six-figure follower counts like Claire could charge up to $655 per post, but it’s clear these women create content out of personal passion.
Julie Miller-Sensini, Kmart’s general manager of apparel and design, said the dedication of influencers means a lot to the brand and clearly reflects in the sale of stock.
‘The Kmart followers have been so great to us, and so loyal as well, and so committed to the brand…working with these women is so important to Kmart because they love the products and they share the love,’ she told News.com.au.
Ashlee Bourke aka Home Is Where a Bargain Is (pictured) shares tips on interior decor and reviews Kmart homewares
ASHLEE – @homeiswhereabargainis
Budget blogger Ashlee Bourke, from Melbourne, runs affordable lifestyle page Home Is Where a Bargain Is.
Ashlee shares tips on interior decor and posts frank reviews of Kmart homewares with her 80,500 followers.
She also alerts people to flash sales at retailers like Coles, Target and Big W to help bargain hunters get the most bang for their buck.