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Sounds Like the Return of Ron Johnson

Interesting to read that Land’s End – the middle of the market retailer – is now being led by CEO with upscale fashion aspirations.  She prefers New York to the Dodgeville, Wisconsin headquarters, wants to move the brand upscale and refers to some of the company’s traditional offerings as “ugly.”

Lands End is up against the same phenomena that have bedeviled J. C. Penney’s and other middle market retailers.  But has the board forgotten the basics of leadership here?  As many critics have argued, the attempts to turn around Penney’s were doomed by a culture clash, the inability to bring people along and basically a lack of leadership.

We know what successful corporate turnarounds need:  A clear definition of who the core customer is; an energizing and inclusive vision for the key employees; people who are passionate about seeing the company to its next phase; and relentless execution among other things.  So Land’s End in Vogue?  I guess we’ll have to see…

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