Despite a year of significant changes — from flat revenue to employee bonus cuts to a revised return policy — L.L.Bean is investing in its future by opening five more storefronts this year.

One of the most critical changes in the retailer’s 106 years was scaling back its 100 percent satisfaction guarantee policy. Tired of being taken advantage, it imposed a one-year limit on returns of most products and rid of free shipping for orders less than $50.

"The overall customer response to the change in the return policy has been positive and supportive," said Carolyn Beem, L.L.Bean's senior manager of public affairs.

The iconic Maine-based outdoor retailer recently announced net sales of $1.6 billion for its most recent fiscal year ending late February — flat compared to the year before.

To cut costs, the company decided to eliminate workers bonuses for the first time since 2008 and plans to cut about 100 positions across the company as they rebalance work.

Last year, L.L.Bean started offering an enhanced retirement program to eligible employees. Beem said they had until this February to decide, and 500 employees took advantage. She also said they plan to backfill about 200 positions across the company.

L.L.Bean opened six new stores in 2017, bringing the total outside Maine to 35 stores.




L.L.Bean joins craft beer scene

L.L.Bean knows how to party. The Maine-based outdoor retailer is celebrating the launch of its Small Batch Bean Boots by partnering with five craft brewers in the state.  L.L.Bean brings the Bean boots. Fogtown Brewing Co., Rising Tide, Orono Brewing Co., Threshers Brewing Co. more

L.L.Bean changes its return policy

Fourth customer sues over L.L.Bean return policy

L.L.Bean now faces four lawsuits filed by customers claiming that they were harmed by the company’s changes to its generous return policy earlier this year. The most recent class-action complaint was lodged on May 4 by a Berkeley, California man, and is similar to the other more

Four people jumping at sunset. L.L.Bean partners with national park foundation.

National parks are for everyone, L.L.Bean says

L.L.Bean has committed $3 million to inspire people of all backgrounds and abilities to discover America’s national parks. The 106-year-old outdoor retailer on Thursday announced that it is extending its support of the national parks community with a multi-year, premier more


Don't wait until after work to get outside. Go now.

For those of us with 9-to-5 jobs, getting outside is an after work, lunch break, and weekend ambition. But L.L.Bean is challenging us to take our fresh-air intake a step further. “We believe that getting outside is an integral part of every day,” said Eric Smith, L.L.Bean more

L.L.Bean boot

Diehard L.L.Bean customer's lawsuit tossed out

The case of an unhappy L.L.Bean customer in Illinois has been dismissed. On June 28, a federal judge ruled that Victor Bondi failed to establish that he'd suffered harm or was unhappy with his purchase of the famous Bean boots he bought last year. Bondi sued the Maine-based more

Grace Bender and Jeff Morton, L.L.Bean employees

Getting paid to hike the AT

On April 16, L.L.Bean sent off the first of 43 pairs of employees relay-style hiking the Appalachian Trail through August. Once the relay is over, collectively the teams will have passed through 14 states and by 20 L.L.Bean stores along the 2,180 miles.  Their hike coincides with more

A white family wearing L.L.Bean runs in the snow

L.L.Bean's charitable giving swelled to $4 million in 2018

Over the past decade, L.L.Bean has given $30 million to nonprofit community and environmental organizations, and the 107-year-old brand isn't slowing down this year. “At L.L.Bean, we have a strong legacy of promoting outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship, a legacy that more

L.L.Bean boot

Diehard L.L.Bean customer suing over new return policy

The owner of a pair of L.L.Bean’s famous bean boots wants so badly to keep his right to return the pair at any time that he’s filed a federal lawsuit. And the 106-year-old company says he’s still entitled to that right, if he has a receipt. Victor Bondi, who describes himself as more

Land and Water Conservation Fund

Industry Buzz: Breaking news, fee-free National Parks day, L.L.Bean's summer-long relay hike, and more.

If you read anything today, make it Industry Buzz. Here are the latest headlines: Do you have buzzworthy news tips? Email us at We have breaking specialty retailer news. Chattanooga-based Rock/Creek Outfitters was sold to Uncle Dan's Outfitters, a more