Lands' End loses brand value

Lands' End reported a loss for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year, largely due to a decline in the value of its brand name.

Lands' End lost $39.5 million for the quarter, thanks to a $98 million impairment charge following its annual assessment of goodwill—the value of its brand name and related customer loyalty it brings. Sales fell 6.1 percent for the quarter, its sixth straight quarter of declines, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
CEO Federica Marchionni has been implementing changes since she took over in February 2015, including reducing catalog circulation and targeting more style-conscious shoppers. Part of that effort included featuring women's rights activist Gloria Steinem in its spring catalog, which ended poorly for the brand. Pro-life activists were angry with Steinem's inclusion, and Lands' End issued an apology and removed the feature from its website, thus angering those on the other side of the issue.

Roughly 85 percent of Lands' Ends sales come through its catalogs and website. It also also operates 225 shops, most of them inside Sears stores.

"While we made meaningful progress in the business throughout 2015, these efforts are not yet reflected in our financial performance. This past year was a transition year for Lands' End, during which we were intently focused on creating a solid foundation from which to grow over the long term," said Marchionni. "We believe that these steps will position us to deliver sequential improvement beginning in the second quarter of the year."

For more:
-See this Forbes story
-See this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
-See this Lands' End financial statement

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