Bravo Lands’ End!

It took me a while to open my Fall Lands’ End catalog because I wasn’t expecting much and previous catalogs have left a small dent in my forehead from banging it on the table as I browse. Boy was I wrong! This season’s catalog is a benefit driven, customer loving gem, that celebrates everything that Lands’ End is good at.

After years of pointing out that Lands’ End is on the wrong path; here, here, and here, their creative is back on track. If the Dodgeville marketing team can get over their obsession with 50% off emails and keep the fear of last year’s awful sales results from cropping up as unnecessary discounts, I predict Lands’ End is going to have their best year in a while. (Did you really need to start the holiday season with 30% off? Read my blog on Bad Discounts to see the numbers on why deep discounts early are a bad idea.)

Lands' End cover

Here are a few of my favorite spreads.

Lands' End Cotton sweater spread

They broke up the pacing with this spread and used a customer quote to showcase the benefits.

Image of Lands' End catalog

Notice the compelling headline that focuses on the direct mail classic of save time by not going to the store. This oldy but goody still resonates with busy customers in the holiday season. They said it in a fun way that ties in beautifully with the photography.

Image from the 2016 Lands' End catalog

Straight up, old school salesmanship. What is it? What will it do for me? Why do I want it?

The holiday catalog is just as good. It is so refreshing to see a pivot like this. The catalog uses the principles of great direct mail, and the art direction makes it fresh and compelling.

Some of the product descriptions could use a fresh set of eyes. Little things like the New Textured Wool Jacket isn’t clear from the photo or the description if it has a hood like the Parka does. Some of the items, like the Lofty Boatneck Tunic, give the fiber content, but not the percentages. Cotton/Acrylic/Nylon/Wool could go a lot of ways depending on how much of each is used. The type is still on the teeny tiny side. But that is just quibbling and overall it was a pleasure to shop. Looks like Dodgeville has got their mojo back.

BTW: we made Larry Shaw’s class on 10 Merchandising Tips for Q4 FREE till December 10th. These are low or no cost, easy to implement ideas you can put in play right now to increase your Q4 sales this year. It’s a great class  that makes a great team discussion. Check it out and then knock this year out of the park—go Cubs!

All the best,

Sarah Fletcher

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