Kohl’s Corp. advances its Lands’ End program by introducing presentations of the brand at 150 stores on Wednesday.
Kohl’s “soft-launched” Lands’ End on its web site on Sept. 15, where the entire collection is available, whereas the stores will have edited assortments, initially emphasizing outerwear, such as the brand’s heritage squall jackets.
“Lands’ End leans into our key strengths and our desire to be more dominant in active and casual. It just aligns with us so well. Its attributes — very classic, casual, family, size inclusivity — are similar to ours,” Doug Howe, chief merchandising officer of Kohl’s, told WWD. Lands’ End outerwear, he underscored, is a “specific opportunity. They do a nice job in outerwear.”
The partnership with Lands’ End reflects Kohl’s Corp.’s continuing revamp of its lineup of brands. Last spring, the Menomonee, Wisc.-based retailer said it would eliminate the “down-trending” Dana Buchman, Jennifer Lopez, Mudd, Candie’s, Rock & Republic, PopSugar, Elle and Juicy Couture women’s brands, in favor of growing the active category.
“This will create space to introduce a more compelling and current offering to our customers, while improving the overall clarity through reduced choice counts,” Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer, said at the time. Women’s, generally, has been a weak spot at Kohl’s recently.
Howe said Wednesday that Kohl’s continues to evaluate other brands that could be introduced to the assortment. Eliminating certain underperforming private or market brands from the assortment, as well as pulling back on inventory levels, “gives us opportunities,” Howe said. “We are rebalancing the mix of private and market brands. The customer will ultimately dictate where that goes.”
In another important brand launch, Kohl’s on Wednesday introduces the Adidas x Zoe Saldana private collection of active apparel, footwear and accessories for women on kohls.com and in nearly 500 Kohl’s stores.
Howe characterized the in-store launch of Lands’ End, starting with just 150 of Kohl’s 1,150 stores. as “a pilot to get the customers’ reaction, curate and evolve.” The soft launch of Lands’ End was last week. Land’s End once had a major presence within the stores of Sears, which at the time owned the brand. Those stores were phased out once Lands’ End was spun out of Sears and as Sears began closing stores.
Kohl’s is testing a few formats for Lands’ End in its stores. In 100 stores, Lands’ End men’s and women’s products are integrated into the men’s and women’s departments. At the other 50 stores, there are separate Lands’ End launchpads for men’s by the men’s department, and for women’s by the women’s department, with greater branding collateral, for a higher profile presentation.
In all 150 stores, Lands’ End kids is merchandised in the children’s department.
Pricing on Lands’ End will “largely” follow its pricing, rather than Kohl’s pricing, which is very promotional. Customers will be able to earn Kohl’s cash on Lands’ End purchases. Kohl’s Rewards loyalty program enables shoppers to earn 5 percent Kohl’s Cash on purchases, and receive “personalized” deals and perks and a birthday gift. Kohl’s Cash $5 coupons are issued on the first day of the following month — and are valid for 30 days.