retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sears Holdings “has been shopping its Lands’ End division to private equity firms ... as the retail giant aims to raise cash.”

According to the story, “It isn't clear whether Sears will have much success with its Lands' End plans. Some buyout shops that looked at Lands' End, such as Blackstone Group, have decided against pursuing such a deal, people familiar with the matter said.”

The story also notes that “Sears bought Lands' End in an effort to attract younger, more affluent shoppers by bringing to its brick-and-mortar outlets the golf shirts and crew-necks that were available in the Lands' End catalogs and on its website.

“Experts estimated the deal could double Lands' End revenue of $1.6 billion in 2001—the last time revenue was reported—but warned that Lands' End's brand image might be tarnished by an association with the more down-market Sears stores.”

While Sears does not break out the numbers, analysts estimate that Lands’ End probably generated $1.7 billion in revenue in 2011.
KC's View:
Which would suggest that the whole “Lands’ End might be tarnished by Sears” theory was correct.

I’m not sure - and I cannot find the files because I was then writing for a website that exists only in memory - but I’m reasonably sure that when this happened, I predicted that being anywhere near Sears could only hurt Lands’ End, a brand with a lot of positive equity.

Chalk up another one for Fast Eddie Lampert.