L.L. Bean to eliminate 300 more jobs by April

L.L. Bean continues to trim its workforce in an effort to contain costs and remain competitive, it was announced on Feb. 4. The company plans to eliminate 300 jobs over the next two months, cutting its workforce by nearly 7 percent.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

L.L. Bean continues to trim its workforce in an effort to contain costs and remain competitive, it was announced on Feb. 4. The company plans to eliminate 300 jobs over the next two months, cutting its workforce by nearly 7 percent. This news comes almost one year to the day that Bean announced a 4 percent reduction in 2002.

This latest announcement comes on the heels of Bean offering early retirement packages to 500 of the company's employees in November, less than a month after laying off an additional 13 employees in both the marketing and merchandising departments. Only 200 staff took Bean's initial offer, leaving the company the task of trimming 300 more through involuntary means. Once the layoffs are completed, Bean will have reduced its staff numbers by nearly 11 percent since October.

Insiders have told SNEWS that the company sales have only managed to inch up incrementally from the 1995 boom years, residing now around $1.1 billion. Overall growth for 2003 is not expected to be more than 6 percent to 7 percent, resulting in only a 1 percent blip upward of revenue numbers. That said, the company remains profitable, despite flat revenues, largely because of streamlining operations which have resulted in the staffing reductions. More reductions are necessary, according to the company, to maintain a competitive position in the face of increasing competition and rising costs, including health care increases and payroll raises.

SNEWS View: Competition is coming from a number of fronts and shows no signs of lessening. Little doubt REI is taking its toll on Bean numbers as REI continues its climb toward $1 billion in sales, a goal SNEWS believes is likely sooner than later. Lands' End, which competes with Bean on the apparel side, has far outstripped Bean in sales, grossing $1.6 billion last year. Bean tried to compete for the women's clothing dollar with Freeport Studio, launched in 1998 -- a fashion failure the company has since shut down. Store openings in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey have not gone as swimmingly as planned, causing the company to step back and rethink its retail expansion strategy. Bean's been stuck at the $1.1 billion level since 1995, and will have to rethink more than just the company's retail expansion strategy and cost reduction focus if it is to jump-start sales in a meaningful manner.

Related

L.L. Bean Will Lay Off 175 as Company Restructures

L.L. Bean announced Wednesday that it will be laying off 175 employees -- most of them salaried -- in the company's biggest workforce reduction in seven years. The layoffs represent approximately 4 percent of the company's 4,200 year-round employees. The last major cutback ...read more

L.L. Bean takes aim at active winter apparel

When consumers think of L.L. Bean, they don't typically picture a soft shell. At least that's what the company's survey of 10,000 customers indicated. "We asked people for the No. 1 identifier when the name L.L. Bean was put before them," company spokesman Rich Donaldson told ...read more

L.L. Bean Will Lay Off 175 as Company Restructures

L.L. Bean announced Wednesday that it will be laying off 175 employees -- most of them salaried -- in the company's biggest workforce reduction in seven years. The layoffs represent approximately 4 percent of the company's 4,200 year-round employees. The last major cutback ...read more

L.L. Bean shows interest in Eddie Bauer assets

Financial analysts speculated that when the Spiegel Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it would sell off its profitable Eddie Bauer division for much-needed cash. Now Portland, Maine-based, competitor L.L. Bean has knocked on the bankruptcy court's door asking to be kept ...read more

Outdoor financials: Dick's Sporting Goods reports Q4 loss on charges, plus Quiksilver, L.L. Bean, Collective Brands

Dick's reports Q4 loss on charges Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) swung to a fourth-quarter loss hit by write-downs mostly related to its February 2007 acquisition of the Golf Galaxy chain. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, it reported a loss of $104.4 million, or $0.93 per ...read more

L.L. Bean approaches 30 years of making adventure accessible

When Debbie MacLagan walked into the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine, she had no idea that within an hour she would be casting a fly rod for the first time. But, about 20 minutes after registering for a Walk-On Adventure at an in-store kiosk, a shuttle picked up MacLagan and ...read more

Did you hear?...L.L. Bean creating a theme park adventure center

According to articles from both the Associated Press and Portland Press Herald, L.L. Bean is planning on developing a theme park adventure center near its Freeport, Maine, flagship store. The project will feature lodging and dining facilities, and feature activities such as ...read more

Outdoor financials: NRF cautious about 2005 retail sales, plus Hi-Tec, Sportsman's Guide, L.L. Bean

NRF cautious about 2005 retail salesAt its recent conference and expo, the National Retail Federation (NRF) released a guarded forecast for 2005, predicting that GAFS sales will only increase 3.5 percent from last year. For starters, strong comparisons will make this year more ...read more

Did you hear?… L.L. Bean expanding retail and distribution space

L.L. Bean has grown significantly from its roots as a one-room operation in 1912 selling one product. And now, the 94-year-old company is embarking on its largest expansion project in its history, planning to open five new stores in the Northeast and expand its retail space and ...read more