The Demographic Challenge for Lands’ End

Controversial CEO Federica Marchionni has departed from Lands’ End after just 19 months at the helm of the apparel retailer.

And as the Dodgeville, WI-based seller of casual clothing searches for a new boss yet again (Lands’ End has had six CEOS since 2002!), this seems an opportune time to consider the state of the company.

The Italian-born, New York-living, Marchionni caused a stir in the retail world by trying to make Lands’ End more attractive to younger, hipper and more affluent customers. Just a few months ago, she introduced reporters to her plans for the company’s holiday lineup, which included $600 jackets, cashmere throws and artisanal cheeses (yes, cheeses.)

Given Lands’ End reputation for sensible and low-priced clothes, a catalog of cashmere and cheese might seem a bit too much of a stretch. And perhaps it was.

But a look at data from Checkout Tracking shows that there may be an opportunity for the company to sell higher-priced items than it has in the past.

  • 55 percent of the buyers of Lands’ End apparel have household incomes of more than $100,000 a year -- well above the 31 percent of all apparel buyers.

More troubling, however, is that while Lands’ End does have affluent buyers, it does not have young buyers.

  • Just 13 percent of Lands’ End buyers are in the coveted 25-34 age group.. Folks 35 and older, on the other hand, over index for Lands’ End buys.

For more details, take a look at the chart below:

Demographics

Total Buyers

Lands' End Buyers

Index to Total Buyers

Age

 

 

 

13-24

19%

8%

39

25-34

16%

13%

79

35-44

15%

23%

150

45+

49%

57%

116

Household Income

 

 

 

<$25,000

17%

5%

30

$25,000-$49,999

21%

12%

55

$50,000-$74,999

18%

17%

98

$75,000-$99,999

13%

11%

81

$100,000+

31%

55%

179

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