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Lands' End Cross-Markets to Encourage Web Traffic During Slow Period

Specialty catalog and merchandising company Lands' End, Dodgeville, WI, launched a targeted outdoor advertising campaign on Manhattan buses this week touting the simple logic and convenience of the company's online shopping venue at www.landsend.com.

Using the single illustration of a Lands' End-labeled computer mouse combined with well-executed headlines and strategically placed media buys, Lands' End is reminding hundreds of thousands of rushing, time-starved New Yorkers in the summer heat that “Shopping online beats standing in line.”

The direct marketing message is a clear indication of the latest influence being wielded by Lee Eisenberg, Lands End's recently installed creative director and executive vice president. It also stands a reminder to competitive direct marketers everywhere that integrated campaigns with sophisticated cross-marketed messaging are required now more than ever.

Eisenberg, a one-time editor at Esquire Magazine, was brought onboard at Lands' End this past March and given full charge of the company's catalog design and production operations as well all public relations and advertising initiatives.

His installation came about in part because of Lands' End struggles last year, which led to three of its retail outlets being closed after payroll costs began outpacing sales growth. The company also was forced to abandon its Willis & Geiger outdoor book and cut staff by 10 percent.

Since that time, the company has tightened its belt and has altered its direct marketing strategies in all arenas, and a more integrated, seamless stream of communication is emerging, apparent from the company's online presence to its recent television direct response advertising and now, to its use of targeted outdoor media. Even the company's latest catalog cover depicting Hawaiian love goddesses doing a line dance shows eyebrow-raising signs of Eisenberg's highly targeted fine-tuning.

According to Michelle Kasper, who handles product information and media relations at Lands' End, the use of outdoor direct for Lands' End shows that they are trying new things. “It's a new medium for us although we have done some kiosks,” she said. “But historically the second quarter is our smallest in terms of sales, so we are advertising our online site quite heavily right now. And, of course, we want to bring more traffic to our Web site. Last year our sales for the Web grew three-fold overall and this year sales in the first quarter were 2.5 times larger than last year. We are hoping for more increases in the fall.”

This past May, the company reported online sales had increased 7.8 percent for its first quarter ended April 30, compared to results for the same period last year.

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