Lands’ End remakes itself with independent stores

Freeman Staff

March 3, 2019

DODGEVILLE — As specialty and department stores are closing by the hundreds and apparel sellers face stiff competition, at least one brand is scouting for new locations and envisioning a 75-store expansion over the next five years.

Lands’ End is branching out from the troubled Sears department stores, where it has operated shop-within-a-shop concepts since 2005, and opening standalone stores, including one in Hunt Valley, Md., that opened Thursday. The Lands’ End at Hunt Valley Towne Center is the first new location this year of up to 15 planned for the Northeast.

With roots as a catalog retailer selling nautical-inspired apparel, Land’s End is remaking itself with an improved online experience and new fleet of stores, a strategy set when CEO Jerome Griffith took over in March 2017. The company is eyeing open-air lifestyle centers similar to Hunt Valley’s, and targeting markets populated by the online and catalog consumers who account for the bulk of the company’s $1.4 billion in sales.