August 4, 2003, 12:00 AM

Dyer to try to work his Lands’ End magic at Tommy Hilfiger

David F. Dyer, former Lands’ End CEO who brought visualization technology and an expanded line of apparel to the cataloger, has joined apparel brand Tommy Hilfiger as president and CEO. Lands’ End parent Sears has not announced a replacement.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

David F. Dyer, the former Lands’ End CEO who brought visualization technology and an expanded line of apparel to the cataloger, has left Lands’ End and parent Sears, Roebuck and Co. to join apparel brand Tommy Hilfiger as president and CEO. Sears has not commented on Dyer’s departure or said who will replace him as head of both Lands’ End and Sears Customer Direct, the overall online and catalog operations of Sears.

At Hilfiger, Dyer will be expected to help turn around an apparel brand that reported a net loss of $513.6 million on revenue of $1.89 billion for the year ended March 31, compared to a net loss of $5.68 million on revenue of $1.88 billion a year ago. Analysts say Dyer can be expected to help broaden Hilfiger’s appeal and lure new customers without alienating its existing base–-the approach he took at Lands’ End. Dyer served as president and CEO of Lands’ End since 1998 and oversaw its sale to Sears last year.

“He’s very good at merchandising, and he attracted new customers without alienating old ones at Lands’ End,” says Ulysses Yannas, an analyst who follows Lands’ End and Sears for investment research firm Buckman, Buckman & Reid in New York. “Lands’ End used to be a staid, old-line retailer, but he made it more exciting.”

One of the merchandising techniques Dyer oversaw at Lands’ End was the My Virtual Model visualization tool, which lets online shoppers view how a product will appear on a model of a certain size and shape.

At Hilfiger, Dyer succeeds Joel Horowitz, who will continue as chairman. Before Lands’ End, Dyer served in several retail positions including acting president of J. Crew Catalog, president and COO of Home Shopping Network and a marketing executive with Federated Department Stores Inc.

 

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