New Lands’ End CEO Sees Company As A ‘Global Lifestyle Brand’

When you think of “Lands’ End,” you probably don’t think “high fashion.” Yet the brand has hired Federica Marchionni, the president of Dolce & Gabbana USA, to be the company’s new CEO. Will Marchionni be able to turn Lands’ End into a global luxury brand and help it find a more profitable identity after breaking off its 13-year relationship with Sears?

Sears purchased Lands’ End in 2001, before the department store merged with Kmart to create Sears Holdings. While it seemed like a nice idea that a famous mail-order brand could set up mini-stores in Sears locations and perhaps draw Lands’ End customers in to try things on and return or exchange items. Sears spun the brand out as a separate company last year, and it still lacks an identity in its post-Sears era.

It’s difficult for the company to find its own identity when its offline presence is still inside Sears stores, just as it was when the companies were still together. Yes, officially the new company rents that space, and they announced vague plans to leave the Sears nest at the time of the spinoff, but that would be an important first step.

Marchionni has a background in selling pricey items to wealthy people: after working for major electronics companies, she took executive jobs at Ferrari and Dolce & Gabbana. Her goal with Lands’ End is to take the company’s heritage as a “classic American brand” and transform it into a “global lifestyle brand.”

New Lands’ End CEO comes from Dolce & Gabbana [CNN]

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