L.L. Bean


For many in Maine, L.L.Bean is synonymous with local pride. The company has been making outdoor apparel for over one hundred years, and it has become famous both for its iconic rubber boots and the extremely generous unlimited return policy.

So last week when L.L.Bean announced it would change its legendary unlimited returns policy, customers throughout New England shared their surprise, and many also shared stories of how they had used the policy themselves. 

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Did that dog bed you purchased from LL Bean five years ago get chewed by its occupant? Until today, you could just take it back and get a replacement for no charge. The company has announced that it's changing its famous unconditional return policy that has been a part of the brand since it started more than a century ago. The change comes as a response to the growing number of customers who have been taking advantage of the policy.

FREEPORT, Maine - Retailer L.L. Bean is giving $2 million to charity with a renewed focus on groups that help get kids outdoors.
The company says its Board of Directors last month approved gifts ranging from $5,000 to $412,000 to a variety of organizations engaged in conservation, outdoor recreation, health and human services, education and the arts.
Chairman Shawn Gorman says the Freeport-based company's goal is to support organizations that strengthen communities and protect the outdoors.

PORTLAND, Maine - L.L. Bean, Good To-Go and Blaze Partners are among 26 businesses getting together to create a trade alliance named Maine Outdoors Brands.
The group will formally introduce itself at a news conference on Monday.
The group sees value in leveraging what Maine's best known for -the outdoors - to create a business climate that promotes outdoor product brands and the younger workforce they attract.
Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais is among those attending the event on Monday.

NEW YORK - If you want to see L.L. Bean's new ad, you're going to have to step outdoors.
The company took its mission to get people outside to a new level Friday by publishing an ad in The New York Times in ink that can only be seen when the newspaper is taken outside and exposed to sunlight.
The advertising insert features L.L. Bean's new "manifesto'' that reiterates its commitment to the outdoors and underscores the Freeport, Maine-based company's willingness to try new things to get shoppers' attention.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

In order to meet demand for it’s iconic rubber-sole boots, Maine-based L.L.Bean has opened a new, larger facility in Lewiston.

The company says this new operation will give it the equipment and employment capacity it needs. L.L.Bean spokesman Mac McKeever says the company now has three molding machines to make the rubber bottoms: two in Lewiston and one in Brunswick.

“We sold over 600,000 pairs last year. This year we’re looking to produce over 750,000, and by 2018 we hope to make over a million,” he says.

FREEPORT, Maine - Outdoors retailer L.L. Bean says a systems upgrade is causing shipping delays.
The Portland Press Herald reports that some customer orders have delays up to a week. The Maine-based company says the delays were caused by an upgrade to the retailer's order-processing and fulfillment systems.
L.L. Bean has apologized to customers in a letter and is offering a 20 percent discount on future orders.

FREEPORT, Maine - Clothing and outdoors gear retailer L.L. Bean says its annual net sales in fiscal 2016 were about level with the previous year at $1.6 billion.
The company says the L.L. Bean family and board of directors approved a 3 percent cash performance bonus to its approximately 6,000 workers.
 A company spokeswoman says L.L. Bean's performance was about in line with the retail industry at large. 

FREEPORT, Maine - Outdoors retailer L.L. Bean is recalling some snowshoes.

The Maine outdoor retailer says it's pulling 3,000 adjustable snowshoes because the plastic material can weaken and break, posing a fall hazard.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall Tuesday.

It says Bean reported four failures but no one was hurt.

LL Bean Offers Employee Buyouts, Ends Contributions to Pension Plan

Feb 10, 2017
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

FREEPORT, Maine — L.L. Bean announced on Thursday that it would offer voluntary buyouts to eligible employees in 2018, discontinue contributions to the company’s pension plan and expand its parental leave benefit.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

L.L. Bean is expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet what the company says is an ever-increasing demand for its signature product.

The increase in production of Bean Boots will add an additional 100 jobs by the end of the year between its Brunswick and Lewiston facilities. Between the two manufacturing centers, L.L. Bean churns out thousands of boots daily.

“L.L. Bean produces about 3,000 pairs of boots per day,” says company spokesman Mac McKeever.

By David Sharp, The Associated Press
FREEPORT, Maine - Outdoors specialty retailer L.L. Bean says sales were flat this past year after five consecutive years of growth.

The family-owned company said Friday that revenue hit $1.6 billion in its fiscal year that ended Feb. 28. CEO Steve Smith says the 104-year-old company in Freeport, Maine, "performed well given a challenging retail environment.''

Many major retailers struggled. CEO Dan Hess from New York-based Merchant Forecast called it a "lousy year'' for clothing retailers.

FREEPORT, Maine - L.L. Bean is giving $2.1 million to more than 80 organizations.

The Board of Directors approved charitable gifts ranging from $5,000 to $225,000 at its December meeting.

Shawn Gorman, L.L. Bean's chairman, said the 2015 recipients share the company's values and traditions "by encouraging healthy outdoor living and addressing real human needs in our communities.'' The organizations receiving gifts are involved in conservation and recreation, health and human services, education, and culture and the arts.

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

BRUNSWICK, Maine - L.L. Bean's board has approved donations of $125,000 apiece to the Preble Street Resources Center and to create a scholarship fund in the name of the company's late leader, Leon Gorman.

The announcement was made Thursday as Southern Maine Community College dedicated a new building, the L.L. Bean Learning Commons and Health Science Center in Brunswick. The outdoors retailer donated $700,000 to support equipment and technology and for landscaping at the campus at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.