Carol Spieckerman's Right Brain On: Sears' and Lands' End (It's Only the Beginning)
Here's what she had to say..
The news flash isn't that Lands' End is going out of business, never to return again. Eddie Lampert is simply changing the business model that will give Sears (and potentially other retailers) access to the Lands' End brand while monetizing the brand's equity. This is a similar model to the one he pioneered when he created a $1.8 billion entity to house Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore (and look how these brands are creeping into new environments).
What I find most interesting is how people get so up in arms about Eddie Lampert's portfolio management approach to retail. He may not "win" right away with this strategy by traditional retail standards (selling lots of stuff in Sears and Kmart stores), but he certainly has opened up new possibilities for what it means to be a "retailer." Lease space and sub-divided real estate, endless aisle online marketplaces, private-brands-as-assets, "externalizing" brands...all concepts that multiple retailers are either considering or actively participating in thanks to Sears. Mr. Lampert has been quite instrumental in evolving retail from an insular merchant model to one of asset management.
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