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Landsend.com Ends Flag Shirt Promo

Apparel cataloger Lands' End yesterday took down a promotion that had been on its home page since the weekend for polo shirts embroidered with the U.S. flag in which profits were to be donated to the American Red Cross.

Lands' End was one of a slew of online merchants that responded to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon by devoting prime home-page selling space to driving donations for relief efforts. As of yesterday, the cataloger was still devoting the upper-right corner of its home page at landsend.com to the Red Cross.

Lands' End also donated “several thousand” Red Cross-logo shirts that were shipped to the New York City on Sept. 17 for volunteers, said spokeswoman Beverly Holmes.

Just after the attacks, the company got e-mail requests for American flag shirts from customers who remembered them from Lands' End's July drop.

“So based on that, we put them back up,” she said.

Holmes declined to say how many of the flag polos were sold. She said “hundreds of thousands” of people visit the Lands' End site daily.

Holmes also reported yesterday that Lands' End's call center volume had returned to near normal after order rates plummeted following the attacks.

“Starting on Monday, we did see people starting to respond to the catalogs,” she said. “They're getting very close to normal. Some of them are back to normal. Some of them are very close to back to normal.”

However, it is “impossible to really tell” whether last week's lost sales will ever be made up, she said. “You don't know how many purchases during those days of the tragedy may have been impulse purchases and the person just decided they no longer needed the item.”

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