Sears Doesn’t Repeat Lands’ End Mistakes Online

Sep 13, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

As Sandra Guy’s report in the Chicago Sun-Times so aptly puts it, “Sears Roebuck and Co. goofed its rollout of Lands’ End apparel in Sears stores.” It doesn’t, however,
plan to make the same mistake online.

Sears is adapting technology developed and tested on the Lands’ End Web site to help it drive sales on

Beginning today, shoppers looking to buy clothes will be able to create a “Virtual Model” with their body measurements and characteristics such as “skin color, hair type, hair
color and even the shape of their eyes and nose.”

They will be able to dress the “Virtual Model” to see how specific clothing choices might look on them. The revolving feature of the “Virtual Model” allows shoppers to see how
the clothing will look from all angles.

Another new technological feature that is borrowing from Lands’ End is the “Virtual Decorator.” This feature, as the name suggests, will allow shoppers to decorate
a room to the exact measurements of their own at home and fill it with products that can be bought on

“This is a good example of the cross-fertilization between Lands’ End and Sears,” said Bill Bass, vice president and general manager of Sears’ customer direct business.

“We’re constantly looking at things to add to the Web site to make the shopping experience better,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: Will the new “virtual” visual aids on positively impact consumers’ perceptions of the retailer and their willingness to
make purchases there?

Sears isn’t simply counting on hi-tech wizardry to wow shoppers. It will also offer a selection of clothing well beyond what is found in stores. According
to the Sun-Times, “Sears will offer the entire Lands’ End catalog on its Web site, versus the limited selection of Lands’ End apparel it sells in Sears stores. It will
sell most of the Structure apparel line for young men, even though only 100 of Sears’ 870 stores will carry the brand this fall, and it will feature its new A-Line brand for women,
which is being sold in about half of Sears’ stores this fall.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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