No longer under the auspices of struggling Sears, Lands’ End has seen success all its own.
In its first quarter since the Sears Holdings Corp. spin-off in April, Lands’ End posted a 3.6% increase in sales to $330.5 million over the first quarter last year, the retailer announced Thursday, and profits soared 48.1% to $10.9 million compared to $7.3 million in 2013.
Edgar Huber, Lands’ End president and chief executive officer, said, “We are very pleased with our first quarter results and our progress towards growing the business and building Lands’ End into a global lifestyle brand. We are encouraged by the positive customer response to our merchandising and marketing strategies and remain focused on improving the contemporary relevance of the Lands’ End brand.”
The 50-year-old brand has done well to maintain its timeless traits, but is still managing to tap into the modern market and capitalize on e-commerce. Contemporary styles like floral print pants and patterned midi skirts, hashtag social media marketing campaigns, and a conversational blog with trend-right look books and lifestyle tips, like what to pack for summer vacation, are keeping the retailer relevant with today’s consumer.
For its recent #GetawayTour promotion, Lands’ End took professional swim fit experts to six U.S. cities to offer style advice to shoppers. Both the retailer and consumers posted Instagram photos and tweeted about their experiences, before one shopper ultimately won a beach getaway. With the increasing relevance of social media in marketing, promotions like this will be key to the Lands’ End’s contemporary brand strategy.
Despite still operating 251 Lands’ End Shops at Sears stores, and another 14 independent locations, the retailer said nearly 84 percent of its revenue came from Internet and catalog orders.
Separating from Sears proved positive for the retailer, who said it benefited in the first quarter from improved merchandise assortments, more targeted promotions and improved inventory management.
Lands’ End’s gross margin improved roughly 60 basis points to 49 percent, and operating income increased 57.1% to $18.8 million.
“We are excited to be operating, once again, as an independent public company and believe we are well positioned to execute against our strategic initiatives to drive sales and earnings growth,” Huber said.