Lands’ End Tests Catalogs for Men, Women

Shakespeare’s Juliet isn’t the only one to ask what’s in a name. Apparel and home goods cataloger Lands’ End is pondering the same question.

Earlier this year the Dodgeville, WI-based mailer changed the title of its menswear book Beyond Buttondowns to Lands’ End for Men. Around the same time, it changed the the title of its women’s apparel book First Person Singular to First Person. (It also renamed its domestics title Lands’ End Coming Home catalog, to simply Lands’ End Home.) Now the company is testing two catalogs, Lands’ End Men and Lands’ End Women, that could eventually replace Lands’ End for Men and First Person.

The test catalogs, which dropped Sept. 5, are part of a versioning project that Lands’ End initiated in early spring. “We know that there are a number of our customers, both men and women, who tend to buy only for themselves,” says Beverly Holmes, spokesperson for the $1.36 billion mailer. “We wondered if there would be any advantage to having a catalog that sells only product that a man or a woman would be interested in.” The company mailed the test books to “hundreds of thousands” of customers whose buying history indicates that they have purchased only men’s or women’s clothing, she says.

But whereas Lands’ End for Men sells only tailored office apparel, the new Lands’ End Men catalog sells casual clothing from the core product line as well as the specialty book’s jackets, ties, and suits. Likewise, in addition to selling the tailored office clothing that makes up the First Person line, Lands’ End Women sells casual jeans, sweaters, barn coats, and the like.

Prices in the 48-page Lands’ End Women catalog range from $18 for a three-pack of panties to $298 for a leather coat. The catalog also features an interview with Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl along with a recipe for mushroom soup. Prices in the 72-page Lands’ End Men catalog range from $12 for a pair of boxer shorts to $505 for a cashmere two-button jacket. The men’s catalog also features a collection of cedar closet accessories on its order form.

“We don’t know if we’ll roll [Lands’ End for Men and First Person] into the Lands’ End Men and Lands’ End Women catalogs,” Holmes says. “We plan to test the new catalogs again next spring, and then we might be closer to making a decision about that.”