Lands’ End is distancing itself from struggling Sears Holdings Co. by shuttering more of its in-store shops and instead opening more smaller standalone locations. Since the apparel company split from Sears in 2014, it has been phasing out its sites in the department store chain.It's planning to decrease its number of Sears shops to 132 by the end of the year from about 159 at the end of the first quarter, according to Jim Gooch, COO and CFO of Lands’ End, in a June 12 conference call. Gooch also said that Lands’ End ended the quarter with 14 company-operated stores and is "planning to open three to four additional stores during the year as we continue to test and expand our customer-focused uni-channel strategy."
Total Retail's Take: Good move, Lands’ End. It makes sense to Sears these days, as the company's dire financial state has many industry experts believing it's on the brink of filing for bankruptcy. And there was more good news coming out of the Lands’ End call. First-quarter revenue increased to $299.8 million vs. $268.4 million last year. Gooch attributed some of this boost to Delta Air Lines, after Land's End delivered new uniforms to 64,000 of the airline’s employees in late May. The deal was part of the Lands’ End Outfitters business, which also received several new school uniform accounts and is in the planning stages for American Airlines Group Inc.