Lands' End - Out Story. Over 50 years. A five decade adventure.
Lands' End - Out Story. Over 50 years. A five decade adventure.
Lands' End 1963
Lands' End 1963 - A young advertising copywriter named Gary Comer, who had long pursued a love of sailing in his spare time, quits his job of ten years and starts a company selling marine hardware and sails. Lands’ End is born.
Lands' End 1963
Lands' End 1964
1964 - Soon he is selling through a mail order catalogue, serviced from the basement of a building along the Chicago River in the city’s old tannery district. It is the very first catalogue and is called The Lands’ End Yachtman’s Equipment Guide. It becomes the most important catalogue available to naval architects, boat builders and sailboat owners.
Lands' End 1964
Lands' End 1973
1973 - In 1973 Lands’ End tries its hand at creating something other than sailing equipment with the in-house manufacturing of duffel bags!
Lands' End 1973
Lands' End 1974
1974 - Lands’ End develops and markets its own brand of rain suit, a two-piece outfit worn by sailors in foul weather.
Lands' End 1974
Lands' End 1975
1975 - Lands’ End produces its first full-colour catalogue, featuring 30 pages of sailing equipment and just two pages of clothing. Though limited, the clothing line is a hit!
Lands' End 1975
Lands' End 1976
1976 - The success of the clothing line leads to a shift from just sailing equipment, to clothing and canvas luggage. Non-nautical products now take up eight pages.
Lands' End 1976
Lands' End 1977
1977 - In the Spring of ‘77 Lands’ End issues its first real clothing catalogue, with 13 of 40 pages dedicated to non-nautical goods - including soft luggage, called Square Rigger.
Lands' End 1977
Lands' End 1978
1978 - Operations move from Chicago to a small rural town in Southwestern Wisconsin called Dodgeville. Gary Comer has land in the area and spends quite bit of time there, growing to love the place and the people. He decides to move his whole business.
Lands' End 1978
Lands' End 1979
1979 - Operations continue to transfer to Wisconsin, with the opening of an office in a pre-existing strip mall in Dodgeville. Next, he buys a 33,000 sq ft warehouse and an 8,400 sq ft office building in the local industrial park.
Lands' End 1979
Lands' End 1980
1980 - The move is made to a new larger home on ‘Lands’ End Lane.’ The company is growing in leaps and bounds. The phone centre now takes calls 24 hours a day. The first Outlet Store opens on Elston Avenue in Chicago - just one block from where the company started.
Lands' End 1980
Lands' End 1981
1981 - A 40,000 sq ft addition to the Wisconsin warehouse begins and land is bought in Iowa to create a factory to manufacture Lands’ End ‘own label’ soft luggage.
Lands' End 1981
Lands' End 1983
1983 - Lands’ End moves into a new 126,000 sq ft warehouse. Mail order shopping is sweeping the nation and Lands’ End is in the lead! A line of clothing called Charter Club is introduced, featuring styles made from Italian silks and other fine fabrics.
Lands' End 1983
Lands' End 1984
1984 - Due to demand, catalogues are sent monthly instead of seasonally. Gary Comer writes a piece for the summer catalogue called, ‘The 8 Principles of Doing Business’ - they still steer company philosophy to this day!
Lands' End 1984
Lands' End 1986
1986 - Lands’ End goes public. Stock is listed on NASDAQ. The fancier line of clothing, Charter Club, discontinues despite profitability. Gary wants to maintain the culture and focus on traditional, no-nonsense clothes.
Lands' End 1986
Lands' End 1987
1987 - First TV commercial is aired during a rugby match on ESPN. Automated hemming operation handles up to 6,000 products a day! Lands’ End stock goes on the ‘Big Board’ - The New York Stock Exchange.
Lands' End 1987
Lands' End 1988
1988 - Lands’ End aquires a plot for a 10,000 sq ft phone centre in Cross Plains, Wisconsin. The Christmas catalogue reaches a record 220 pages.
Lands' End 1988
Lands' End 1989
1989 - Gary Comer dedicates a 80,000 sq ft activity centre to the employees. Gary personally donates $8 million to pay for the construction of the facility.
Lands' End 1989
Lands' End 1990
1990 - Lands’ End opens a second luggage sewing facility in Elkader, Iowa. Creative and marketing teams move to Dodgeville and three new speciality catalogues are launched – Kids’, Home and Men’s.
Lands' End 1990
Lands' End 1991
1991 - The first catalogue to prospective customers in the United Kingdom is sent. It’s a huge success. In the U.S. employment is up to 6,000 people during peak season.
Lands' End 1991
Lands' End 1992
1992 - A third phone centre opens in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Lands’ End is included in the new edition of ‘The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.’
Lands' End 1992
Lands' End 1993
1993 - First phone and distribution centre opens outside of the U.S. - in Oakham, England. Two new catalogues are launched: Textures, a collection of women’s tailoring and Corporate Sales, a new B2B catalogue.
Lands' End 1993
Lands' End 1994
1994 - Japan business launches with the first mailing of the catalogue written in Japanese and denominated in Yen. First Lands’ End inlet opens opens in Richfield, Minnesota. Distribution centre opens in Reedsburg, Wisconsin.
Lands' End 1994
Lands' End 1995
1995 - landsend.com makes its debut in July, featuring 100 products. First national multi-media campaign via print, radio and TV began to advertise a single Lands’ End product.
Lands' End 1995
Lands' End 1996
1996 - German business launches in Mettlach. All product is shipped from the distribution centre in Oakham, England.
Lands' End 1996
Lands' End 1997
1997 - Lands’ End for School catalogue launches and 2 of British TV’s favourite comedy characters are recruited to appear on the cover of the UK July catalogue.
Lands' End 1997
Lands' End 1998
1998 - Lands’ End is named as one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work for in America.’ Website introduces personalised shopping accounts and My Virtual Model, where customers can build a 3-D model of themselves. Over 15 million visits are made to the Lands’ End website.
Lands' End 1998
Lands' End 1999
1999 - landsend.com announces its previous year’s sales grew threefold. Recognised by Fortune as one of the ‘10 Best Companies That Get It’ for selling clothes online.
Lands' End 1999
Lands' End 2000
2000 - Land is aquired at Stevens Point, Wisconsin, for the construction of another satellite facility. Fortune’s ‘Top 100 Best Companies to Work For” includes Lands’ End for a third year running.
Lands' End 2000
Lands' End 2001
2001 - Lands’ End debuts an alumni collection, Womens’ 18W-26W catalogue and Custom Chinos on landsend.com. Over 269 million catalogues are distributed throughout the year.
Lands' End 2001
Lands' End 2002
2002 - Lands’ End is aquired by Sears on June 17. ‘Best sellers’ are introduced in 184 Sears stores locations including Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Atlanta and Madison, Wisconsin.
Lands' End 2002
Lands' End 2003
2003 - The company celebrates its 40-year anniversary. Lands’ End is successfully rolled out to all 870 Sears stores.
Lands' End 2003
Lands' End 2004
2004 - Employees beat Guinness World Record with 2,773 people pillow fighting for the charity Sweet Dreams. Lands’ End opens an on-site clinic for employees.
Lands' End 2004
Lands' End 2005
2005 - Employees, along with a company match, raise $70,610 for Hurricane Katrina victims. Sears and Kmart merger is complete. Lands’ End Germany is voted one of the best places to work in Europe.
Lands' End 2005
Lands' End 2006
2006 - Lands’ End expands into an additional 75 Lands’ End Shops at Sears.
Lands' End 2006
Lands' End 2007
2007 - Lands’ End Shops at Sears celebrates 200 stores. A new intimates collection is launched.
Lands' End 2007
Lands' End 2008
2008 - Lands’ End is recognised as a top performing e-commerce company by the E-Tailing Group and ranks number 9 on Business Week’s list of ‘Customer Service Champs’. Employees take part in a company-wide volunteer project to build a home for a local family.
Lands' End 2008
Lands' End 2013
2013 - Lands’ End celebrates its 50th year in business - and what an amazing journey it has been to date. We look forward to continuing with the principles laid down by our founder, Gary Comer, still at the heart of all that we do.
Lands' End 2013