Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sears Plans to Spotlight Lands' End

I believe the Sears takeover of Lands' End has been a disaster. Shopping for Lands' End "in person" sounds great -- until you get to the local Sears store and find a run-down, messy clothing department with filthy, broken dressing rooms and no customer service in sight.

An email to Sears about these problems last summer was not answered, despite my sending a follow-up email; a statement on Sears' website says that they will respond within 48 hours. This lack of customer responsiveness is one more example why Sears is failing.

Then there's the changes to Lands' End. As of Fall 2004 their children's clothing was suddenly "fashion forward," particularly for older girls, instead of "classic." Spaghetti straps for schoolwear? No way. Lands' End's classic knit play dresses were suddenly available only up to Size 8. (They have rectified that on a few dress patterns for Fall 2005.)

I'm skeptical that there's hope for either company under the present circumstances. As a longtime Lands' End customer, it's been a big disappointment. This story rumors that Sears may sell off Lands' End. As long as the company survives under new ownership, that would probably be good news.

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