News Column

Lands' End profits rise after split from Sears

June 12, 2014

By Judy Newman, The Wisconsin State Journal

June 12--Profits soared 48 percent for Lands' End, of Dodgeville, in its return to a stand-alone, publicly traded company.

In its first quarterly report since splitting from parent company Sears Holdings Corp. on April 4, Lands' End said it had net income of $10.9 million, or 34 cents a share, on revenues of $330.5 million for the quarter that ended May 2. That's up from net income of $7.3 million, or 23 cents a share, on revenues of $319 million for the first quarter of 2013.

"We are very happy and very proud that we are operating independently again," said president and CEO Edgar Huber, in an interview. "It's a great, great opportunity for Lands' End. There's a lot of potential for the future."

Lands' End was purchased by Sears in 2002 for nearly $2 billion.

In spite of a decrease in the number of Lands' End Shops at Sears and in redemption credits from Sears'Shop Your Way promotion, sales of Lands' End's clothing and home goods increased at the remaining stores and through direct, online sales, the company said. Huber credited the company's product mix, marketing, and efforts to modernize the brand.

He said in 2013, the company began using "much better customer analytics which allowed us to be much more targeted" and improved profit margins.

Huber said some Lands' End Shops at Sears were lost by the closing of Sears stores, and others through the agreement between the two companies to pull out Lands' End's presence or reduce its square footage.

There were 251 Lands' End Shops at Sears and 14 inlet stores as of May 2.

Administrative costs rose $1 million over last year due to more financial and legal staff needed as a public company, Huber said.

Lands' End is working toward becoming "a global lifestyle brand," he said, in a news release.

"I'm extremely confident and also very happy to be with Lands' End. We are looking into a very bright future," Huber said later.

Shares of Lands' End stock jumped as high as $31 in early trading, a 16.4 percent rise from its close Wednesday at $26.63 a share, and were trading in the upper $28 range around noon.


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Source: Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI)

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