Lands’ End CEO: Company Has To Boost Business Online

Dodgeville-Based Company Faces $94.8M Net Loss In Fourth Quarter

Brian Blanco/AP Images

Less than a month into his new job, Lands’ End CEO Jerome Griffith said the retail company must do a better job of keeping up with its competitors, especially with its online presence.

On a conference call with stock analysts Tuesday, Griffith reported the Dodgeville-based company had a fourth quarter net loss of $94.8 million in 2016. The loss compares to a fourth quarter 2015 loss of $34.5 million.

Jerome Griffith. Richard Drew/AP Photo

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The company is known for its catalogs, but Griffith said one of his priorities is to expand its online sales.

“We’re an extremely good catalog company, and we spend a lot of money in managing catalogs, but I think some of those resources could be better used particularly in our e-commerce group,” he said.

The company’s product line may also be in need of an update, Griffith said, adding he’d like the clothing to be “trendier.”

The brand is well known on the east coast and in the Midwest, but the CEO said another priority is to make the company more popular nationwide and build on its “iconic brand heritage.”

Lands’ End’s chief operating officer and treasurer, James Gooch, said Lands’ End did well with certain apparel such as pajamas and women’s tops, but those sales weren‘t enough to make up for losses in other areas, like outerwear.

“Outerwear … is our largest category in the fourth quarter,” Gooch said. “It represents over 20 percent of our business (and) was particularly soft in the first half of the quarter with the unseasonably warm weather. And while we did see a pickup in sales later in the quarter, it wasn‘t enough to offset the initial weakness.”

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