Lands' End

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Lands' End
Traded as NASDAQLE
Industry Retail
Founded Chicago, Illinois
(1963; 55 years ago (1963))
Founder Gary Comer
Headquarters Dodgeville, Wisconsin[1]
Number of locations
16 (2013)[2]
Key people
Jerome Griffith (CEO)
Products Clothing, luggage, home furnishings
Owner Publicly traded company[3][4]
Number of employees
5,300 (2013)[2]
Parent Sears (2002–2005)
Sears Holdings

Lands' End is an American clothing and home decor retailer based in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, that specializes in casual clothing, luggage, and home furnishings. The majority of Lands' End's business is conducted through mail order and Internet sales, but the company also runs more than a dozen retail operations, primarily in the Upper Midwest, along with international shops in the UK, Germany, Japan, France and Austria.


Lands' End began as a mail-order yachting supply company in 1963 in Chicago, Illinois.[3] It was founded by Gary Comer,[5][6] along with his partners, 1963 Pan American Games gold medalist sailors Richard Stearns and Robert Halperin, and two of Stearns' employees.[7][8] As the business became successful, it expanded into general clothing and home furnishings, and moved to Dodgeville, Wisconsin in 1978.[6] The company is named from its sailboat heritage, after Land's End, but the misplaced apostrophe in the company name was a typographical error that Comer could not afford to change, as promotional materials had already been printed.[5]

Lands' End's catalog business expanded in the 1980s, riding a nationwide wave of mail-order success.[citation needed] The company expanded its computer systems and customer service operations. In 1986 it became a publicly traded company.[3] The 1990s saw continued growth, as the company began international expansion and became an early embracer of e-commerce, establishing a website and "live chat" customer service. In 1992 Lands' End was named among "The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America".[clarification needed][3][not in citation given]

In 2002, Sears bought the company for USD $2 billion in cash.[9] In addition to operating mail order and online business and Lands' End Inlet stores, Sears offered a Lands' End clothing line in a large number of its retail stores.[10] In 2012, the company formed an "online partnership" with the UK's Debenhams and House of Fraser department stores.[11]

In November 2009, Lands' End launched a new line called Lands' End Canvas, which offers a more fashion-oriented selection of casual clothing for men and women.

On December 6, 2013, Sears Holding Corp. announced that it would spin off Lands' End catalog business as a separate company by distributing stock to the retailer's stockholders.[12] Lands' End stock began trading on the NASDAQ on April 7, 2014.[13]

In 2016, feminist activist Gloria Steinem was featured in the catalog of Lands' End. After an outcry from pro-life customers, the company removed Steinem from their website, stating on their Facebook page: "It was never our intention to raise a divisive political or religious issue, so when some of our customers saw the recent promotion that way, we heard them. We sincerely apologize for any offense." The company then faced further criticism online, this time both from customers who were still unhappy that Steinem had been featured in the first place, and customers who were unhappy that Steinem had been removed.[14]


  1. ^ Reingold, Jennifer Why Lands' End Ousted Its Change Agent Fortune. October 7, 2016
  2. ^ a b Rick Romell, "Lands' End begins trading as an independent company again," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^ Frequently asked questions. Lands' End. "In 2014, Lands’ End spun off from Sears Holdings and became a publicly traded company"
  5. ^ a b Suzanne Kapner, "Sears Weighs A Spinoff of Lands' End; Core Chains' Losses Grow," The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Dennis Hevesi, "Gary C. Comer, 78, Founder of Lands’ End, Dies," The New York Times, October 6, 2006.
  7. ^ "American National Business Hall of Fame". Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  8. ^ Rick Kogan, "Gary Comer: 1927 - 2006," Chicago Tribune, October 5, 2006.
  9. ^ "Sears buys Lands' End", CNN, May 13, 2002
  10. ^ "Sears stores carrying Lands' End" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.,, October 17, 2003
  11. ^ Corporate Overview, Corporate website, Undated.Retrieved: 10 October 2013
  12. ^ Hadley Malcolm, "Sears to spin off Lands' End business," USA Today, December 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Associated Press, "Lands' End Starts Trading as Public Company," ABC News, April 7, 2014.
  14. ^ "'Catalog Interview With Gloria Steinem Has Lands' End on Its Heels'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-29.

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