Lands’ End is still struggling and saw sales and profits fall in the fourth quarter, as well as the full year, but the brand’s new chief executive officer is hoping to begin a turnaround.
The Wisconsin-based retailer posted net revenue for the fourth quarter of $458.8 million — a 3.2 percent drop from the $473.5 million during the same period last year — and posted a net loss of $94.8 million, up from last year’s fourth quarter loss of $39.5 million. Revenue from the direct sales segment dropped 2.6 percent and revenue from sales in retail stores also fell by 6.3 percent, in part due to closures of several Sears locations.
For 2016 as a whole, the Lands’ End financial picture was much the same. Net revenue came in at $1.34 billion, a 6 percent drop from last year’s $1.42 billion and the company ended the year with a net loss of $109.8 million, compared with a net loss of $19.5 million in 2015.
When excluding a $107.8 million impairment charge related to a value change for the Lands’ End trade name, the company said its net loss came in at $2.1 million.
Lands’ End’s new ceo, Jerome Griffith, admitted during a call with analysts that the brand has recently “lost traction” and “lagged behind competitors,” but said work is being done to bring the company up to speed.
“I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to rejuvenate this business, as we address these issues and position the company to leverage its strength,” Griffith said. “This includes creating a relevant assortment that maintains our classic American heritage with an updated look, providing a clear brand identity to speak to today’s consumer, and better leveraging our existing distribution channels, while expanding into new channels.”
Griffith went on to say that growth for the company “lies in several key areas,” like products for the whole family including a renewed focus on outerwear and swimwear in “diverse fit and size ranges,” strengthening the Lands’ End brand message and catalog business, as well as focusing on its e-commerce business.
“Overall our goal is to be seen as an e-commerce-led company which sells a great lifestyle brand. We will work to become more agile on our online platforms, adopting a test-and-react culture, that will enable us to best meet our customer’s needs,” Griffith said. “We’ve already begun to take tactical improvements, but given the increasingly dynamic nature of our online business, we’ll need to be more diligent in improving our online experience.”
Griffith added that he wants the brand to become better known and more relevant outside of the Midwest and Northeast regions of the U.S.
The company did not offer an outlook for the current fiscal year or first quarter.
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