Lands’ End, which isn’t in the habit of opening stores, will raise its retail profile with its first-ever pop-up shops, on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and in Boston’s Copley Place.
On Nov. 1, a 4,000-square-foot pop-up will open in Copley Place, on the site of a former Bath & Body Works.
On Nov. 11, a two-level, 9,000-square-foot pop-up will open at 650 Fifth Avenue, site of the former Juicy Couture flagship, on the southwest corner of 52nd Street.
Lands’ End has only 11 stand-alone stores. The brand also has shops inside 227 Sears stores, though the Sears count has been diminishing, and also sells online and through catalogues.
The upcoming pop-ups could be an indication that the company is ready to take a different approach and willing to test consumer response at sites in big cities.
“Today we have retailing with our own stand-alone stores, but not at the magnitude and with the prominent locations we need to have,” said Federica Marchionni, president and chief executive officer of Lands’ End.
“This is great exposure,” said Marchionni, referring to the two pop-ups. “The goal is to give a different experience to the consumer and help them understand who Lands’ End is and where it is going.
“With the right opportunities, we definitely want to open retail,” she added. “Today we face a different retail environment. The economics really need to work well. Today retail is really suffering and everybody is pushing online.”
She said her challenge since she joined Lands’ End is “to move the needle…I said at the shareholder meeting that I will like to have a multidimensional strategy, to go with different targets, different markets, different channels.”
Asked if either of the two pop-ups could become permanent locations, Marchionni replied, “Not in Boston, but in New York we could with the right opportunity meaning the right economics.”
Both stores will have monogramming machines, and sell men’s, women’s, children’s, home products and gifts. They’re geared for holiday selling. The New York store will have a hot chocolate bar.
The Boston store will stay open through Dec. 31, while the Fifth Avenue store will stay open until Jan 31. Marchionni said the pop-ups will open as Lands’ End rolls out a new advertising campaign geared to resonate with existing customers and attract new ones.