Sears to Spin Off Lands' End


Good — and it can’t happen soon enough. There’s real value to be unlocked in Lands’ End, but they’ve got to bring the quality back.


LE used to be a great place to go for inexpensive, decent-quality clothes. You were never going to set the fashion world on fire wearing their stuff (most especially their women’s stuff which seems to get more boring every year), but if you needed a pair of khakis and a plaid shirt, you could do a lot worse somewhere else — and spend more money, too.

I used to have some of their flannel, but the last couple shirts were so poorly made they shrunk to my wife’s size on first washing. And, yes, I’d followed the instructions. The last khakis I bought from them were also the last straw. They arrived an inch or so too short, which would have been easily fixed by an exchange. But they were unevenly too short, which gives one pause. Worst of all, the material was an insult just to look at and even worse to touch. If there’s a place China outsources to, these were made in that country’s outsourcing destination. That’s a long way from LE’s original business model.

Sears, which bought the company in 2002, has not been a good manager of the brand. I hope the shareholders demand — and get — some big changes.



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