Lands' End has opened a new 5,000-square-foot store in the north Chicago suburb Kildeer, the company said last week. It's the first physical location of between four and six the apparel retailer plans for this year, according to a company press release.
Over the next five years, the plan is to open 40 to 60 locations, based on traffic, convenience, analytics and where the retailer enjoys strong brand recognition, executives said in March.
The retailer in March posted its best quarterly performance in three years and the third consecutive quarter of growth, following 11 straight of sales declines.
Under CEO Jerome Griffith, Lands' End is returning to its merchandise roots, moving away from the style changes attempted under Federica Marchionni, who stepped down in September, and getting out from under the struggles of former parent Sears, which still hosts many of its locations but is rapidly shuttering stores.
The move represents a branching out from Lands' End's pure-play catalog origins and also runs counter to assumptions that brick-and-mortar is dead. But the company is also focused online, making improvements to its website and mobile operations, as well as partnering with third-party marketplaces, they said.
The new stores use lighting, fixtures, flooring and clean lines designed to make them inviting for customers, the company said last week. Their layouts feature separated areas to define categories, making for a more intimate shopping experience in their large spaces.
Visual displays feature seasonal items like duffels and outerwear that have long been popular with Lands' End customers, along with each product's history and features. Digital signage showcases multimedia content like photos, videos and social media. Lands' End is also bringing its entire assortment in with a virtual "shopping lounge," according to the release. The lounge features comfortable chairs, catalogs, a phone connected to the company's call center, computers and a touchscreen kiosk, plus sales associates to answer questions.