Lands' End Delta uniforms (copy)

Delta Air Lines' employees showed off their new uniforms, designed by fashion designer Zac Posen and made by Dodgeville-based Lands' End, in late May. The order, the largest so far for the company's uniform division, helped improve Lands' End's bottom line in the first quarter, the company said Tuesday.

Outfitting employees of Delta Air Lines helped Lands’ End boost sales and narrow its losses in the first quarter, pumping the company’s stock to its highest level in three years after it announced the financial results on Tuesday.

The Dodgeville apparel retailer reported a net loss of $2.6 million, or 8 cents a share, for the three months that ended May 4 compared with a net loss of $7.8 million, or 24 cents a share, for the 2017 first fiscal quarter.

Revenue jumped to $299.8 million, from $268.4 million a year ago, largely because of the new uniforms Lands’ End provided for 64,000 Delta employees, CEO Jerome Griffith said.

Delta employees all showed up for work in their new attire on May 29, staging fashion shows in several hub cities. Pulling off such a large order will help to highlight Lands’ End’s “experience, exposure and credibility” when other companies consider uniform buys, Griffith said.

Chief financial officer Jim Gooch said about half of the Delta purchase was recorded in the first quarter. Another 25 percent came in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the rest will be included in the second fiscal quarter of 2018.

Griffith said data analytics that show which fabrics, silhouettes and price points customers prefer are helping to fashion Lands’ End decisions on new products. He also said working with Amazon — where about half of all apparel purchases now start — brought in more customers, about half of whom are “completely new to our brand.”

Lands’ End stock leaped to $31.10 a share in early trading Tuesday and closed at $29.90, up $6.40, or 27 percent, from Monday’s closing price. The last time the company’s stock traded that high was in May 2015.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.