Following two years of robust growth, L.L.Bean’s sales fell about 1 percent in 2022, to $1.8 billion a year ago. In a statement, L.L.Bean noted that it was able to hold “onto recent gains to yield its second-strongest revenue performance in company history.”
In 2021, sales totaled $1.8 billion, up 14 percent over 2020, marking one of its most successful years. In 2020, the Freeport, ME-based retailer’s revenue totaled $1.59 billion, a 5 percent increase over 2019 and its best results since 2011. In recognition, the L.L.Bean Board of Directors approved a performance bonus of 13.5 percent in annual pay for its approximately 5,500 employees, comprised of a 7.5 percent cash bonus and a 6 percent 401(k) contribution.
Marking its 110th year in business, the company credited ongoing investment in its omnichannel strategy as a key contributor to maintaining solid sales—reaching new and current customers through e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores, international expansion, wholesale partnerships, mobile selling experiences, L.L.Bean for Business, and its signature L.L.Bean catalog.
L.L.Bean also said it made significant investments in expanding top-performing categories, including its Active and Rugged product lines, which span footwear, apparel, gear, and accessories. The company also expanded its longstanding inclusive sizing program, introducing more styles in various size options for all body types (tall, petite and plus) and instituted a one-price model for apparel.
“As we close the books on 2022, we are honored to have been the retailer of choice for so many customers who turned to L.L.Bean to outfit them for outdoor adventures,” said L.L.Bean President and CEO Stephen Smith. “Our global teams continued to skillfully navigate a changing retail environment and uncertain economic climate. From amazing products that delivered on innovation, function and style to accurate inventory forecasting, supply chain agility, efficient fulfillment systems, engaging marketing and storytelling efforts, and industry-leading customer service – our team’s ability to ensure our customers were outfitted and cared for helped yield another strong year for our company.”
Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean executive chairman of the board and great-grandson of founder Leon Leonwood Bean, added: “On behalf of the family and Board of Directors, I want to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication during our 110th year in business. We look forward to continuing to invest in our purpose, our people, our customers, our communities, and our environment so we can all experience firsthand the restorative benefits of time spent outside.”
L.L.Bean noted that men’s and women’s apparel set a new combined record for sales. Double-digit growth came from several categories across its assortment, including Travel, up 23 percent; Boots, ahead 24 percent; Inclusive Sizing, up 15 percent; and Women’s Swim, 10 percent. Fishing also reached an all-time sales high, rising 5 percent. Wicked Good Slippers continued to be L.L.Bean’s top-selling product, with eight pairs sold per minute during the peak holiday season. Additionally, the company reached new audiences as its “Ironic Boat and Tote” trend drove sales of its canvas bags to a ten-year high.
“We were so proud to significantly expand our longstanding inclusive sizing range in 2022, offering more styles and patterns in sizes for all body types at the same price,” said Alex Intraversato, L.L.Bean, VP of merchandising, men’s and women’s apparel, equipment.
Other highlights of the year include:
- L.L. Bean opened two stores in the U.S., one in Japan and five in Canada in partnership with Jaytex Group. The company operates 56 stores in 19 states across the U.S., 25 in Japan and 12 in Canada, in partnership with Jaytex Group.
- L.L.Bean announced its L.L.Bean Flagship Experience, a multi-year, $50-plus million project to reimagine its flagship store and retail campus in Freeport, ME.
- L.L.Bean committed to eliminating PFAS in its labeled products by the end of 2024. The brand continued to use 100 percent Responsible Down in all down products. Over the past five years, it increased its use of Responsible Cotton, recycled nylon and recycled polyester by 80 percent, equating to 1.7 million pounds of material converted to these preferred options. L.L.Bean also eliminated 600,000 pounds of plastic by shifting to recyclable paper packaging on 75 percent of outbound goods.
- Employees spent over 73,000 hours outside on paid Outdoor Experience Days and participated in 134 Outdoor Discovery courses.
- L.L.Bean’s mobile selling experience traveled 12 states and over 5,000 miles in the Bootmobile, creating 65,000 in-person customer experiences.
Photo courtesy L.L. Bean