Lands’ End opens UK shopping site

Lands’ End, the largest US online clothing retailer, is launching its UK e-commerce site this week as part of a global roll-out of its Web-based services.

According to Lands’ End vice-president of e-commerce Bill Bass, the company achieved $61m (&£37.2m) of sales online last year in the US, accounting for 4.5 per cent of overall sales.

Online sales levels are now running at two-and-a-half times the levels achieved last year, says Bass, and he expects the online channel to break through the 10 per cent barrier of total sales during the current financial year.

Lands’ End is also launching an e-commerce site in Germany later this week, and last week launched a site in Japan.

The UK site includes a feature which allows customers to synchronise their browsing with a friend (“Shop with Friend”), or a Lands’ End sales assistant (“Land’s End Live”) to obtain a second opinion and further product information ahead of purchase.

According to Bass: “Shopping online has become very easy and convenient, but it remains too often a lonely and solitary past-time. We hope these features will recreate the experience of going out shopping with family and friends and, if wanted, allowing shoppers to get more information and guidance from specially trained store assistants, either through the phone or online.”

The launch of Lands’ End’s e-commerce-enabled UK site (www.landsend.co.uk) follows hard on the heels of last week’s much-delayed launch by fashion clothing retailer Boo.com, and coincides with this week’s planned launch of niche fashion UK retailing site intofashion.com.

According to Intofashion UK marketing director Wilf Geldart: “The competition online is hotting up here very quickly, with the launches of Zoom, Boo, and even Marks & Spencer is expected to launch online at any time.

“But the competition is still not like it is in the US. Lands’ End is top in that online market, and there’s no reason why we can’t be top here in the UK,” says Geldart.

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