LL Bean pleased with 2018 performance, awards bonuses

Combined Shape

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — L.L. Bean enjoyed a small increase in sales in the past year, enough so that it’s restoring bonuses for its 5,400 eligible workers, officials said Friday.

The Maine-based retailer’s revenues grew by 1 percent, nearly flat at $1.6 billion, in a changing and challenging environment for retailers.

Steve Smith, president and CEO, said in a statement that the company “performed well in a very competitive industry and a very difficult retail economy.”

The board on Friday awarded performance bonuses of 5 percent of pay for workers. Last year, there were no annual bonuses for the first time in a decade.

L.L. Bean is coming off several years of flat sales and belt-tightening that included a reduction in workforce, changes in its generous return policy, restrictions on free shipping, and a paring of product lines to refocus on the company’s outdoors roots.

Trending:
US Chamber of Commerce Defies Biden, Calls for Termination of Weekly Unemployment Perk

Last year, the company announced it plans to open L.L. Bean-branded stores in Canada as part of its strategy to return to growth.

Behind the scenes, the company completed an upgrade of tech and warehouse systems, which allowed it to process an all-time 315,000 orders in a single day in early December, spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said. The company’s iconic boot remained popular with 40 pairs a minute sold on Black Friday, she said. There also were improved delivery times and reduced product backlogs.

The upgrades and cost-cutting led to improved profits — which were above projections and significantly better than the previous year — that will help L.L. Bean invest in the future, the company said. The privately held retailer doesn’t disclose profits.

“We are on a journey towards growing our top line and the improvement to our bottom line is a critical first step,” Smith said.

It’s been a challenging period for many retailers, especially clothing retailers, said Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD Group.

Millennials are now starting to have families and some aging baby boomers are spending less, causing new spending patterns that favor tech over apparel. “People are clearly investing in their lifestyles more than wardrobes,” Cohen said.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation