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Retailing e-tailing

Lands' End


The company selected as the subject of this project is Lands' End. The criteria were:

1. Size- Lands' End is probably the largest apparel retailer on the Internet

2. Reputation- The company enjoys a sterling reputation with most of its customers

3. Personal knowledge- the researcher is a long time very satisfied customer of Lands' End.

4. Availability of information- The Company is now owned by Sears Roebuck who acquired it in June 2002. There is no current financial information available and historic results are difficult to impossible to locate. There is a good deal of information on the company's policies and business practices. This seemed more valuable for the purposes of this project than financial information.

The company is interesting as a hugely successful Internet retailer built upon a history of success in other forms of retailing. It has also succeeded in utilizing the net in highly creative ways to overcome some of the difficulties inherent in its chosen product categories.

What is e-tailing

"E-tailing (less frequently: etailing) is the selling of retail goods on the Internet. Short for "electronic retailing", and used in Internet discussions as early as 1995, the term seems an almost inevitable addition to e-mail, e-business, and e-commerce. E-tailing is synonymous with business-to-consumer (B2C) transaction". (2006)

E-tailing began to work for some major corporations and smaller entrepreneurs as early as 1997 when Dell Computer reported multimillion dollar orders taken at its Web site. The launch of the Lands' End site in 1995 makes it one of the pioneers among e-tailing pioneers. The success of hastened the arrival of Barnes and Noble's e-tail site. Concerns about secure order-taking receded. 1997 was also the year in which Auto-by-Tel reported that they had sold their millionth car over the Web, and...