The Weather Channel is taking off one insulated, water-proof parka and putting on another. But will consumers be able to tell the difference? The Atlanta, Georgia-based meteorology broadcaster has entered a two-year deal with Lands' End, the apparel brand known for its sturdy outerwear, basics and kids' backpacks. The Weather Channel formerly had an exclusive contract with LLBean, the apparel brand known for its sturdy outerwear, basics and kids' backpacks, for some dozen years. (Notice a pattern?) Lands' End, which is based in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, will outfit all on-camera meteorologists.
"We take the outfitting of our on-camera meteorologists very seriously—their safety is our priority, and our outfitter has to be a brand that we can depend upon and trust," said a Weather Channel spokeswoman in a statement. She noted that the company reviewed several companies in its search for a retail partner. "Lands' End is a company that is incredibly devoted to its employees, customers, and its merchandise. Their attention to detail and the quality of their merchandise makes us proud to wear and partner with Lands' End."
Storm Tracker Jim Cantore debuted the new Lands' End gear on Tuesday in 32-degree weather in Wisconsin. The new deal includes meteorologists regularly sharing information on how a product fared during different climate situations with the apparel brand.
According to an LLBean spokesman, the separation with the Weather Channel after 12 years was amicable. The agreement came to a close on Aug. 31. "We sure do wish them all the best in the years to come and we both continue to be in full support of our aligned goals of getting people what they need to enjoy the outdoors," says the spokesman.
LLBean recently rebranded its messaging with new agency-of-record Via Agency. The retailer has been airing quirky spots highlighting the fun of being an outsider—both literally and figuratively—and is less focused on catalogs.
Lands' End, meanwhile, faced controversy last year when it removed Gloria Steinem from its catalog after pro-life customers complained.