The reason for her departure was not announced, but insiders say Mindy objected to the plan to place Lands End clothing in Kmart.
I would have left, too. Read the full article in Adage.
Industry watchers said Ms. Meads’ abrupt departure followed a battle with Sears executives on expanded distribution of the brand in both Sears and Kmart stores. The internal battle raises the question: If even an insider is questioning the combined value of the Sears/Kmart retail brand, what other brands might follow?
FYI –Sears acquired Lands’ End for $1.8 billion in 2002 , and Sears, Roebuck & Co. merged with Kmart Holding Corp. earlier this year to create Sears Holding Corp.
There is a clear divergence here between what’s best for the company – Sears Holding Corp, and what’s best for the brand – Lands End.
Come on – Upscale, preppy Lands End in Kmart? I’m sorry folks – clothing is a different animal than housewares. Sure Martha Stewart has a line in Kmart, but I have no problem buying housewares from Kmart. I DO have a BIG problem with buying clothing from Kmart. I wouldn’t be caught dead buying clothes there – putting my favorite brand into Kmart isn’t going to make me shop for clothing there, it’s going to make me think less of my favorite brand.
ChicagoNeil Stern, a retail consultant with McMillan Doolittle in Chicago sems to agree.
What do you guys think?