The Lost Mitten Club



It’s winter. It’s cold. You’re at the sled hill or the skating rink with your kids, and disaster strikes:

“Tommy, where’s your other mitten?”

“Dunno, mom – it got lost.”

So you hand Tommy your big mitten, just to make do, and as he plunges recklessly down the hill, you wonder where all those lost mittens and gloves have gone, every winter since before you can remember.

Well, we’re moms and dads at Lands’ End, too, and one of our most important jobs is to walk a mile in your snow boots. That’s why, back in 1996, we introduced The Lost Mitten Club. It let customers buy a single mitten or glove to replace the lost one at half the price of a pair. Simple idea, yet no one had ever thought to do it before.

Carrie O’Boyle, a writer in the kids’ group at that time, says the lost mitten idea came from a merchant named Alice Williford.

“She really knew her stuff,”  recalls Carrie.  “She was an expert in technical outerwear. But she was a mom too – she knew the reality of kids losing their mittens.”

We first let customers know about the club with just a small blurb in the catalog.

“The group was nervous about it – they didn’t want to blow the roof off things.” But it was such a great service, our Lands’ End customer service reps began spreading the word over the phone.

The Lost Mitten Club was an immediate hit with customers.

“What parent wouldn’t want something like that?” says Carrie. “I have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old now, and we must have gone through a half dozen pairs of gloves and mittens this winter.”

In the past sixteen years, thousands of kids have been “reunited” with their lost gloves and mittens thanks to the club. A few years ago, we also began offering the service for absent-minded adults. (If only there was a Lost Car Keys Club!)

You can imagine how happy – even ecstatic! – our customers are about The Lost Mitten Club. We get Facebook messages like:

“Just ordered my missing glove for my son…yippee!!! Will be here in a few days.”

“I pulled six gloves out of my youngest child’s drawer this week – and NONE of them matched! This will work out perfectly for us.”

“We always end up with a bunch of left gloves – always the same hand – can’t figure that one out.”

“It’s things like this that sets Lands’ End apart from other stores! Thank you!”

“I still lose them all the time and I am 42!”

And predictably:

“I need a missing sock club too.”

Uh, we’ll pass on that one. But come winter, The Lost Mitten Club will be up and running again, protecting kids everywhere from frozen fingers.  So keep us in mind – we might even deliver to the sled hill!

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