Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
Lands' End launches an e-commerce site on a vendor-hosted platform, a new technology strategy it may rely on increasingly in Europe.
Long a well-known brand of apparel, home furnishings, luggage and other items in the U.S., Lands' End is out to build its name recognition in Europe with a new e-commerce strategy, chief information officer Steve Chetney says.
"Our overall business goal is to create a consistent, updated e-commerce platform across the European countries we have business operations in, as well as have a model in place for future brand expansion," he says.
Lands' End, the marquee apparel brand of Sears Holdings Corp., began selling online in Sweden last year on an e-commerce platform from Demandware Corp. The new site, se.landsend.com, debuted last October after a three-month implementation period, Chetney says.
The launch of the Swedish site marked the first appearance of Lands' End on a vendor-hosted, software-as-a-service platform, which so far has proven to provide the level of functionality and performance consistency that Lands' End wants to duplicate as it relaunches existing e-commerce sites that serve Austria, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, Chetney says. Those other sites are operated by Lands' End on its own servers, using software it licenses.
The SaaS or cloud model—terms used to describe how a vendor provides software technology to a client through the Internet—will let Lands' End operate with a single technology platform across its multiple European sites, Chetney says. This will enable the retailer to more easily integrate each site with product and marketing information in a central office network, which will ease technology maintenance and facilitate consistent brand marketing across Europe, he adds.