Lands' End Jumps as More Exits From Sears Stores Calm Investors

(Bloomberg) -- Lands’ End Inc. investors may be warming back up to the retailer as it further breaks free from former parent Sears Holdings Corp. by shuttering more in-store shops in favor of smaller standalone locations.

The American apparel company spiked as much as 27 percent Tuesday to its highest intraday level since May 2015. Shares are up about 45 percent this year.

The one-time Sears unit has been phasing out its sites situated inside the struggling chain, halving its number of in-Sears shops since the 2014 split. It’s planning to drop that number to about 100 by the end of the year from about 159 at the end of the first quarter.

“Some people have an affinity for Sears and some people don’t,” Chief Executive Officer Jerome Griffith said in a telephone interview before first-quarter results were released.

Its move to further distance itself comes as once-dominant Sears announces plans to close 63 more Sears or Kmart locations in early September. As Lands’ End pulls out of stores, it’s investing in new retail concepts that are about a third of the size of current company-operated stores. It plans to add four to six this year and expects an additional 40 to 60 new locations over the next five years.

The Dodgeville, Wisconsin-based retailer saw same-store sales -- a key retail metric -- at its Sears shops sink more than 20 percent in the latest quarter, outpacing the 9.9 percent drop at company-operated locations.

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