As part of Sears’ exciting new plan of ditching any businesses that consumers actually like, the company announced today that it will be spinning off Lands’ End. The catalog company, which sells decent-quality clothing for middle-aged people, has been part of Sears since 2001. Instead of selling off the business, Sears plans to spin it off as its own entity, as it did with Sears Outlet and Hometown stores last year.
The twelve years that Lands’ End and Sears have been together have been huge years of change in retail and for Sears. The acquisition predates the Sears-Kmart merger, and seemed like a great match at the time. Some experts speculate that the company is one of the most profitable parts of Sears Holdings Corporation.
On the other hand, separating the companies would mean that online and catalog shoppers can no longer return unwanted items to Sears stores, which has long been part of the appeal of shopping at Lands’ End…and the only reason why many Consumerist readers visit Sears at all. (The rest are paying their Discover bills, maybe.)
“[Sears is] essentially selling their body parts so they stay alive today,” Brian Sozzi, the Sears-photographing chief executive of Belus Capital Advisers, told the Chicago Tribune.
Analysts suspect that Sears might be spinning or selling off the profitable parts of the company, like Lands’ End, the outlet stores, and the Auto Centers are currently on the market. Next up could be the Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools proprietary brands, as well as some of the valuable real estate that some Sears stores sit on.
Sears to spin off Lands End business [Chicago Tribune] (Thanks, Dena!)
Sears Holdings Corporation Announces Filing Of Registration Statement For Spin-Off Of Lands’ End Business [Press Release]