Lands' End wants to be like Prime

Lands' End has relaunched its Canvas collection with a new membership component that echos Amazon Prime, offering services and perks for an annual fee.

Canvas by Lands' End Circle Membership gives shoppers free shipping and returns, 20 percent off all full-price purchases, 10 percent off sale and clearance items, and early access to sales – for a $50 annual fee.

The lifestyle brand is meant to appeal to younger shoppers and is described as: "A youthful, modern collection for men and women."

"When I first started at Lands' End, I was being asked by many people to bring back the Lands' End Canvas collection," said Federica Marchionni, CEO of Lands' End. "This new collection allows us the opportunity to reach an additional audience, younger and more fashion conscious, with a strong desire to express their personal style. The line, inspired by the freedom of artistic expression, features a white label symbolizing the ability to personally create one's own canvas."

The launch was accompanied by a website update and now the addition of Circle.

Circle applies only to Canvas products. Is 20 percent off and free shipping enough to entice shoppers to pay a $50 fee for products otherwise available?

"That may be a tough sell, comparatively, to millennials who are used to getting free shipping both ways. That's the norm more than the exception today," Anita Bhappu, a professor who studies retailing at University of Arizona, told The Washington Post.

Other retailers are experimenting with Prime-like membership programs, including Sephora and Restoration Hardware. Prime has been a runaway success for Amazon, with membership numbers now estimated at roughly 54 million.

For more:
- see this Lands' End press release
- see this Washington Post story

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