The internet has made modern shopping so convenient that many of us forget that, at one time, mail-order catalogs accounted for a huge portion of clothing sales. Though most companies have moved away from this model, plenty of stores that made names for themselves with their catalogs continue to rely on them. Even the most well-known catalog-based retailers, though, are moving towards newer, trendier, and more convenient methods of distribution. That’s why Lands’ End, the all-American company based in Wisconsin, recently opened a pop-up shop on Broadway, right in the heart of SoHo.
Most Americans remember Lands’ End for their utilitarian garments and generous cuts. The company began as a sailboat equipment company and has tried to distance itself from its older, more practical image that does not particularly appeal to the young audience that most clothing retailers are targeting nowadays.
The pop-up shop is a method of sale that is becoming more and more popular for businesses and shoppers alike. By limiting the time that it occupies the space, the company creates a sense of urgency in the customer, and by expanding into a new geographical area for a set period it can capture a new consumer base for relatively little cost. In return, customers enjoy an often-rotating selection of shops and styles that breathes new life into the area every few months.
The pop-up is not the only way in which Lands’ End is attempting to hook a younger crowd, though. In addition to introducing a newer, more modern font for its logo, the company has been pushing its Canvas by Lands’ End line since its release in 2009, a line which takes center stage at the SoHo pop-up. Immediately upon entering, shoppers are greeted with the line’s modern cuts, fabrics, and designs that make the line feel almost like an entirely separate brand. There are button-up shirts with patterned accent pockets and sweaters with asymmetric patches. The mainline’s most popular offerings, like chunky-knit tops, are updated with slimmer cuts. A long, waterproof shell jacket with detachable hood and taped seams demonstrates Lands’ End’s natural ability to branch out into techwear, which keeps with the practical nature of most of its clothing.
It remains to be seen whether or not the pop-up and other aggressive rebranding tactics will be able to revive the company, which ousted its former CEO in September. The moves in a new direction, though, should ultimately be good for the brand, which will ostensibly continue to deliver its core product to its long-time consumers while offering some new twists on the side.
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