STORE SPACES

Land’s End to unveil new store concept; launch brick-and-mortar expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

Specialty apparel retailer Land’s End is doubling down on physical retail.

In a presentation at the ICRC Conference in Orlando, the company said it will unveil a new store concept in Chicago this year, and plans to open four to six additional locations. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. During the next five years, the company expects to open between 40 and 60 stores, reported Marketwatch.com.

Lands’ End currently has about 180 locations in Sears Holdings stores. But with Sears continuing to shutter stores, the specialty retailer said it will not be relying on Sears for future growth.

“[I]t’s our expectation that our Sears business at a point in time will go away and that we’ll be talking directly to the consumer through our own stores,” Lands’ End CEO Jerome Griffith said at the conference. Griffith, who assumed his position in March 2017, was previously president and CEO of upscale luggage brand Tumi Holdings.

Land’s End, which started out as a catalog company, was bought by Sears in 2002, before the department store’s acquisition by Eddie Lampert. It was spun off as a separate company in 2014.

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Call for entries: SPECS Tank

BY CSA Staff

Chain Store Age’s 2018 SPECS Conference is looking for a few innovative ideas.

This year’s SPECS (March 18-20, Gaylord Texan, Grapevine, Texas) program will feature a special edition of “SPECS Tank” that will feature up to six contestants vying for the title of “SPECS Tank Innovator of the Year.” Retailers and exhibiting suppliers who have developed an idea, solution or product that has not been mass-produced and is intended for use in retail design, construction, or facilities management are encouraged to enter and show off their ingenuity. Selected contestants will demonstrate the product concept, mock-up or solution to the panel of judges, and will have approximately three minutes to quickly explain the product or solution, what it does, and how it would be used. To enter, click here.

The judges will select their favorite product/solution among the group, and the winner will be honored as “SPECS Tank Innovator of the Year” and receive $1,000. Each of the remaining finalists will receive $100.

The contest is open to all retailers as well as suppliers that are exhibiting at SPECS 2018. The deadline for entries is February 1, 2018. If you have any questions, email Katherine Boccaccio at [email protected]

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Happy Returns opens NYC flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

A concept dedicated to in-person returns for online retailers has made its Big Apple debut.

Happy Returns has opened a Return Bar flagship in the Rockefeller Center retail concourse. The location joins a national network of more than 50 Return Bar locations in 14 metro areas. The sites are located in shopping centers, independent boutiques, and other convenient spots.

“Since the moment we launched in Los Angeles, we have fielded a steady stream of requests from both retailers and shoppers to open a Return Bar in New York City,” said David Sobie, co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns. “We appreciated that New York required a different approach, and are thrilled to be opening in an iconic location that serves as both a transportation hub and a retail destination.”

Happy Returns’ new Manhattan location represents its first collaboration with Tishman Speyer, the owner of Rockefeller Center. The companies also intend to offer Happy Returns as part of Zo, Tishman Speyer’s comprehensive suite of amenities and services for its office tenants.

For more on Happy Returns, click here.

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