March 11, 2003, 12:00 AM

Lands` End does what Sears hoped: drives up store traffic and sales

Four months after it introduced Lands` End apparel into its stores, Sears says the move has increased store traffic and sales.


Four months after it introduced Lands` End apparel into its stores, Sears, Roebuck and Co. says the move is paying off in increased store traffic and sales. Shoppers are showing an interest in purchasing both traditional Sears products like appliances along with Lands` End apparel, Sears says.

"The fall rollout proved what we already knew--that Lands` End is a favorite brand among shoppers and specifically among our customer base," said Kathryn Bufano, executive vice president and general manager of softlines.

Sears said most of the 183 stores that carried Lands` End products during a fall test period experienced a faster rate of increase in overall sales than stores not included in the test. It added that store sales of Lands` End products surpassed the million-dollar mark twice during December, when they hit $1.7 million on Dec. 21 and $1.2 million on Dec. 22.

Sears now offers Lands` End merchandise in more than 400 stores and expects to have it in all 870 full-line stores by fall.

Sears said top selling items among Lands` End merchandise included footwear, such as the All-Weather Moc for men, women and children; sweaters and turtlenecks for men and women; and men`s winter jackets and parkas.

Bufano said Sears will be applying merchandising policies based on what it learned during the Lands` End test period. For example, she said, customers have shown a preference for finding Lands` End products displayed together in a special store-within-a-store concept instead of within separate category sections that include other brands.

Sears also will implement more cross-marketing initiatives for in-store Lands` End and Sears hardlines products, because about 60% of hardlines customers interviewed said they were now more likely to also shop at Sears for apparel because of the Lands` End offerings.

Also in response to customers` indicated preferences, Sears said it will introduce this spring in-store displays of more Lands` End specialty sizes, such as women`s petite.


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