By Students Taylor Anderson, Gina Granberg, Matthew Greenstein, Chenoa Moore, Kara Quinette, and Emma Bakke
On December 7th, the Retail Leadership Symposium class welcomed Adrienne Bestul (Director of Employee Services), along with employees, Nicole Moyer, Jenna Ehrensaft, Claire Krzykowski, Corey Moody, and Andy Crye from Lands’ End. Headquartered in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Lands’ End is a global apparel and lifestyle company that has devoted themselves in offering high quality and timeless styles with a twist.
Lands’ End was established in 1963 when the founder, Gary Comer, decided to start his own mail-ordering company for yachting gear. After about three years, the first Lands’ End catalog was created, titled Lands’ End Yachtsman’s Equipment Guide, and consisted of 84 pages, which only featured three pages of clothing. It was not until 1977 when the company became a million-dollar business and published the first real clothing catalog.
Throughout their 54 years in business, Lands’ End has remained successful by always following their three pillars: quality, value, and service.
Today, still one of the top catalog companies, Lands’ End offers a wide selection of apparel for everyone in the family, including outerwear, and shoes. In addition, they offer home decor, school uniforms, and the option to personalize gifts. As the retail industry begins to move towards e-commerce, Lands’ End continues to prove that catalogs are still an effective channel to sell merchandise to consumers.
During Lands’ End’s presentation, Adrienne and her team were able to work with the class to answer questions about the company and the industry in general. Three important aspects of the presentation were:
Knowing the Target Customer
Knowing the customer is understanding demographics, patterns, and consumer values. The merchants must keep this ideal consumer in mind when creating new products for the upcoming season. The team must read consumer reviews and analyze sales reports in order to understand which direction their consumer is moving in.
Emphasis on Collaboration
The Lands’ End is team-based and merchants must cooperate with different groups across the company in order to achieve the final product. In small group discussion when asking them about the most important factors relating to their position, many of the Lands’ End team members said communication and teamwork.
Staying True to Company Values
Adrienne talked about Lands’ End founder, Gary Comer, and his belief to put the customer first. This is something that the company still believes today. They are known as one of the retailers with the best customer service and will go above and beyond to maintain that connection with their consumers. They showed many other company values in a short video and how Lands’ End prides itself on being a strong presence in the Dodgeville community, as well as playing a prominent role outside of work with employees.
The insights that the speakers from Lands’ End shared with the class were extremely valuable and acted as a nice reminder to seek out a company that reflects our own personal values because it will make it that much easier to not only excel in the company but in the retail industry as a whole. Thank you, Lands’ End!