_ EXCLUSIVE Eddie Lampert is cleaning out the closet at Sears, and hes not feeling sentimental about Lands End. The number-crunching hedge-fund tycoon who, as chairman of Sears Holdings, has lately been scrambling to raise cash amid heavy losses at the Sears and Kmart retail chains has quietly been shopping the Dodgeville Wis. mail-order catalog to potential buyers, The Post has learned. Lampert, who inherited Lands End when he took control of Sears in 2005 by merging it with Kmart, has approached a handful of private-equity firms as he looks to raise as much as $2 billion in cash,
Sears Holdings: Alan Lacy has resigned as Sears’ CEO and vice chairman of the board of directors for both Sears Holdings and Sears Canada. Former AutoNation and iVillage.com CFO Craig Monaghan has joined Sears as CFO. Williams-Sonoma: Howard Lester, this multichannel home furnishings merchant’s chairman since 1986, has been named CEO, a post he previously held from 1979 to 2001. He replaces Ed Mueller, who resigned in late July after less than three years at the helm. Mueller will remain with the company as director. Laura Alber has been promoted to president of Williams-Sonoma from her previous role as president of Pottery Barn Brands.
We’ve all heard them, the Lands’ End “legends of customer service”—things like free fabric swatches, complimentary tailoring on dress pants, custom-made chinos and extended phone conversations with friendly call center reps. Indeed, its laser-like focus on customer satisfaction is one reason the company garnered a 93-percent net income increase in the last fiscal year. Undoubtedly it’s also one of the reasons why retail giant Sears in May announced plans to acquire 55 percent of Lands’ End’s stock for an estimated $1.9 billion. “[T]his company ... is well-known for high-quality products produced according to rigorous manufacturing standards,” stated Sears CEO Alan Lacy