Apparel retailer Lands’ End plans to add 40 to 60 stores over the next five years, on the heels of a dramatic improvement in earnings, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. The retailer reported its third successive quarter of positive earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017, in the wake of 11 quarters of decline. Net income for the fourth quarter was $39.8 million on $510 million in revenue, versus a net loss of $94.8 million on revenue of $458.8 million for the previous year's comparable quarter. Last year Lands' End achieved its first 12-month profit since 2014.
"We are pleased with our strong performance in the fourth quarter, as we continued to gain momentum behind our merchandising, marketing and digital initiatives, and [we] ended the year on a solid note,” said CEO Jerome S. Griffith in the earnings report. “During 2017 we stabilized the brand, grew our buyer file, reconnected with our core customer, improved our business processes and drove growth across our four key categories. As we look forward, we will continue to execute on our strategic plan and continue to focus on driving consistent performance across the business."
Dodgeville, Wis.–based Lands’ End closed out 2017 with 174 shops within Sears stores, down from 214 stores at the end of 2016. Leases on its remaining Sears stores are set to expire over the next two years, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The company has 11 stores that are not connected to Sears. Lands' End was acquired by the department store chain but was spun off in 2014.
Griffith told the newspaper that the company plans to open a stand-alone store in the Chicago area this spring, plus four to six stores by the end of the year, and those will be followed by as many as 60 over the next five years.
Meanwhile, the newspaper reports that Lands’ End is shipping uniforms to some 60,000 Delta Air Lines employees and in January won a contract to do the same for 50,000 American Airlines workers.
By Edmund Mander