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March 21, 2022

LLBean revenues jump 14%, employees to receive 20% bonus

Courtesy / L.L.Bean Inc. Stephen Smith, L.L.Bean's CEO, oversaw a 14% jump in revenues during 2021.

L.L.Bean Inc., the iconic outdoor retailer and one of Maine’s largest employers, on Friday reported a 14% increase in annual revenues and said workers will receive their largest bonus in over a decade.

Revenue totaled a record $1.8 billion, driven by sales growth in outdoor products such as active apparel, up 36%; active footwear and hiking footwear, up 26%; outerwear, up 28%; travel, up 50%; and winter sports, up 25%. Overall, men’s and women’s apparel hit an all-time record, the company said in a news release.

The increase topped the growth in 2020, when revenue rose 5% and L.L.Bean awarded a 10% bonus, an amount the company hadn't given in a decade.

In 2021, pandemic-inspired consumer interest in outdoor activities, combined with L.L.Bean's wholesale partnerships, new product offerings and international expansion, contributed to the company’s performance, the retailer said.

“Our global teams have shown incredible resilience and agility in the face of an ever-changing retail environment and never-before-seen supply chain challenges. By accurately forecasting consumer demand and securing inventory early, we were able to meet our customers’ needs, which in turn yielded one of our strongest years of growth in company history,” said L.L.Bean President and CEO Stephen Smith.

In addition to its retail stores and online presence, L.L.Bean reached customers in 1,200 partner store locations and online through wholesale relationships with Nordstrom, Zappos, SCHEELS and Staples.

In recognition of the strong results, L.L.Bean will pay a performance bonus of 20% of annual pay for its roughly 5,500 employees. The extra compensation includes a 12% cash bonus and an 8% 401(k) contribution.

In addition to its financial results, L.L.Bean announced the addition of two independent directors to its board: Diane Neal, former CEO of Sur La Table and Bath & Body Works, and Deborah Yeh, chief marketing officer of Sephora Americas. L.L.Bean said former independent director Hugh Farrington retired in 2021 after serving seven years on the board.

Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, L.L.Bean operates 56 stores in 19 states across the U.S., along with 24 stores in Japan and eight stores in Canada through a partnership with Jaytex Group.

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