When Edgar Huber, president and chief executive officer of Lands’ End, offers some of the brand’s own peppermint cookies to a guest, it’s not simply because he’s a warm and welcoming guy.
Sure, the sign on his door reads just “Edgar,” and it fits. “We’re very low key. There’s not much hierarchy here,” Huber said, referring to the sprawling, 175-acre Lands’ End campus, situated next to a feed mill in Wisconsin farm country.
But with the can of cookies he’s making a point: that Lands’ End can sell a lot more than just gingham shirts, monogrammed canvas totes and squall jackets, and that in the age of omni-retailing and 360-degree megabrands, the attitude at Lands’ End is not laid back.
“We absolutely have the capacity to achieve ‘image transfer,’” Huber stressed. “You know these cookies sell. We also sell millions of holiday stockings every year. I’m not sure Abercrombie & Fitch can do that.”
Huber joined Lands’ End in August 2011 after serving as executive vice president of global business development for Liz Claiborne Inc. and, prior to that, president and ceo of Juicy Couture. Earlier, he held senior posts at L’Oréal overseeing a portfolio of brands including Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Diesel Fragrances, Lancôme, Shu Uemura and the Kiehl’s Since 1851 brand.
Cosmetics, he added, “is one of those categories customers would expect, especially body care and body washes. We are not there yet, but it might be an interesting development in the future. Victoria’s Secret in a very short time became a $1 billion beauty business.
“It’s a matter of commitment and brand perception.”
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