Lands’ End is doubling down on third-party relationships

Discussion
Photo: Lands’ End
Apr 15, 2022

Lands’ End is big on partnerships. The casual clothing retailer is going live on-air today with QVC in a promotion featuring its women’s swimwear in sizes two through 32 in petite, regular and tall cuts.

The retailer, which first tested its own women’s clothing page on the QVC site last year, expanded the effort last month. The on-air component represents a further expansion of the partnership.

“Our e-commerce launch with Lands’ End resulted in impressive customer engagement both within the online shopping experience and socially, especially given the brand’s inclusive offerings, which is an area where we continue to place emphasis here at QVC as well,” Rachel Ungaro, vice president and GM of apparel for QVC US, said in a statement. “Lands’ End has one of the most inclusive swimwear size ranges on the market — a synergy with QVC and the inspiration behind this spring’s on-air product focus. We look forward to seeing our customer’s continued response and the possibility of additional opportunities in the future.”

Lands’ End CEO Jerome Griffith spoke bullishly on the chain’s earnings call last month about the role of third-parties in helping the company drive sales to the highest level since being spun off into a public company from Sears in 2014.

“These partnerships are proving to be highly effective vehicles to expand our brand awareness,” said Mr. Griffith. “And our product is resonating and attracting new customers with similar profiles to the Lands’ End demographic. We’re proud of our accomplishments over the past few years, building a solid foundation with proven strategies to drive long-term profitable growth.”

Mr. Griffith pointed to the success Lands’ End has had with Kohl’s, which in 2020 began carrying Lands’ End merchandise in 150 of its stores, including some shop-in-shop concepts.

“We are now present in 300 doors and continue to offer our full assortment on kohls.com, which is resonating with the Kohl’s customer,” Mr. Griffith said on the recent call. “In 2022, we plan to expand our assortment to 500 doors, as well as increase our swim offering to over 100 incremental doors. These expansions will bring our total Kohl’s store count to over 600 stores.”

Lands’ End will continue to look for third-party partnership opportunities, according to Mr. Griffith, and expects to add one or two new ones in 2022. The company also has a dedicated page on Amazon.com.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Land’s End on the right track in combining its direct sales efforts with those through third parties such as Amazon, Kohl’s and QVC? Is this a strategy that other consumer direct brands and retailers should follow?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Yes, this is a good fit for Lands’ End. Social commerce and partnerships are low-cost ways to expand – low CAC and capital costs."
"The use of third parties will continue to work well for Lands’ End and similar brands."
"With new ways to discover and experience the brand, I have no doubt these partnerships will help drive additional ecommerce revenue for Lands’ End."

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12 Comments on "Lands’ End is doubling down on third-party relationships"


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Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

Third parties with favorable demographics can bring more awareness and revenue to Lands End, particularly if it tailors its offerings to each channel partner.

Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

Lesser brands could have easily been worn down to a nub following Lands’ End’s trajectory. As it is, Lands’ End seems to have finally gotten the mix right. Kohl’s, Amazon, and QVC are logical combinations for a brand that still enjoys a nostalgic affinity among Boomers. Its size-inclusive approach to tricky categories like swimwear and its depth in key items have helped Lands’ End remain relevant to a broader base of shoppers. The QVC hookup allows Lands’ End to keep its story alive and articulate its unique value proposition, driving awareness that will radiate across its other points of distribution.

Perry Kramer
BrainTrust

The use of third parties will continue to work well for Lands’ End and similar brands. A large part of their success is they have been selective in product mix and location mix while protecting the brand’s name. By limiting what is available to third parties and in limiting the Kohl’s footprints they can improve the management of inventory demand and sell through. This limited exposure will continue to build brand recognition and loyalty which will translate to improved direct digital sales and enable them to selectively grow store locations and sales.

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

Anything would be better for Lands’ End than the Sears debacle!

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Both Lands’ End and QVC are proponents of quality and inclusive sizing so this is a good fit for both companies. It’s one thing for Lands’ End to partner with another brick and mortar retailer and quite another to partner with QVC.

QVC’s live presentations feature models wearing a variety of sizes, giving customers a better idea of what the garment might actually look like on their bodies. It’s a win-win for both companies, and maybe just a little bit bigger win in terms of exposure for Lands’ End.

Michael La Kier
BrainTrust

It’s simple: partnerships (done right) can expand and extend brands. Lands’ End has a long history of partnerships — anyone remember their deal with Sears? Combining with third parties can lead to broader sales success. Other D2C brands have already gone down this path which can be efficient from a marketing standpoint.

David Naumann
BrainTrust

Lands’ End has relied heavily on marketing its product through third parties with stores-within-a-store concepts at Sears and Kohl’s. Lands’ End only has about 20 standalone stores and its third-party partners are key to its strategy. For brands without a large physical store presence, partnering with third-party sellers is essential for growth.

Christine Russo
BrainTrust

Yes, this is a good fit for Lands’ End. Social commerce and partnerships are low-cost ways to expand – low CAC and capital costs. Other brands are similarly exploring live selling (on social media), pop-ups and the like.

Peter Charness
BrainTrust

if those partners are a good match to a well defined target customer AND Lands’ End can execute on a somewhat more complex distribution network and manage in-stock and rapid delivery then sure. If you own a desirable brand then your distribution channel is just the facilitator between you and your customer.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

Once upon a time, Lands’ End was a go-to brand. While it isn’t these days, it is still a brand known for its quality. Their best shot at expanding their business is to make their products available to the 100 million participants in Kohl’s, QVC, and Amazon. Further, Patricia’s suggestion, mainly if it tailors its offerings to each channel partner, will be more successful with these partners.

Nicola Kinsella
BrainTrust

Lands’ End needs to tap new markets, so this approach makes sense, and other strategic retail partnerships would be good additions. But given the limited line most of these retail partnerships will carry, would love to see BOPIS options where customers can order on Lands’ End’s site and pickup at a local store too.

As a traditional catalog business, where consistent size and fit are important, Lands’ End is perfectly suited to provide its ecommerce shoppers a predictable product experience that will inspire repeat sales and returns down. With new ways to discover and experience the brand, I have no doubt these partnerships will help drive additional ecommerce revenue for Lands’ End. For other brands with a similarly consistent product line, it could be a good approach.

David Slavick
BrainTrust

The brand has a very loyal following. Back in the day at Sears Holdings, it was the best thing about shopping apparel at Sears. Their customer service approach is the best in the business. Listening in on the caring, personalized and highly informed nature of their associates having a knowledge of their fashion style preferences leading to a sale was pure brilliance. Any way you can sell your goods is all good! I do not see this as a dilutive effect on the brand.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Yes, this is a good fit for Lands’ End. Social commerce and partnerships are low-cost ways to expand – low CAC and capital costs."
"The use of third parties will continue to work well for Lands’ End and similar brands."
"With new ways to discover and experience the brand, I have no doubt these partnerships will help drive additional ecommerce revenue for Lands’ End."

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