L.L.Bean has been delivering classic styles, outdoor gear and expert advice for over 100 years. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-man operation. Guided by L.L.’s belief in keeping customers satisfied, the company has grown to a global organization with annual sales of $1.6 billion. Our company headquarters are in Freeport, Maine, just down the road from our original store.2016 Company Fact Sheet (PDF)
L.L.Bean is a privately held, family-owned company. We do not release financial and operational information beyond what you will find here and do not produce an annual report.
Launched in 1995, llbean.com is among the top-rated e-commerce sites in the industry. Customers can shop thousands of products, book a course with our Outdoor Discovery Schools®, locate a nearby park, find store information and much more. We are continually enhancing our website to provide a first-class customer experience. In 2016, we also mailed over 50 different catalogs to customers in every state and over 150 countries.
L.L.Bean’s retail stores allow customers to experience the company’s unsurpassed customer service firsthand, with a friendly staff that’s always ready to help – whether it’s choosing the right product or finding the perfect fly-fishing spot. The 200,000 square-foot flagship store is located in Freeport, Maine, on the original site where L.L. opened his shop in 1917. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the store draws over 3 million visitors each year, with unique features that include an indoor trout pond and a 3,500-gallon freshwater aquarium that replicates a 25-foot-long section of streambed. The seven-acre retail campus is also home to L.L.Bean’s Hunting & Fishing Store, Bike, Boat & Ski Store, and Home store. L.L.Bean also has 30 retail stores outside of Maine, as well as 10 outlets, with new stores opening each year. All our retail locations host a variety of special events, clinics and demonstrations throughout the year.
Since 1979, our Outdoor Discovery Schools have helped customers enjoy outdoor activities and learn new skills. Programs range from a few hours to multiday trips, and include kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, fly casting and fishing, clay shooting, archery, biking, snowshoeing, canoeing and more. Over 150,000 people participated in programs in 2016.
Business to Business Sales
L.L.Bean Direct to Business offers quality L.L.Bean products and gift cards to corporate customers for group outfitting, special events, customer recognition and employee rewards. It offers easy ordering and logo setup, expert personalization and generous volume discounts.
L.L.Bean opened its first international retail store in Tokyo in 1992 and now operates 23 stores and outlets in Japan, where L.L.Bean Boots and Boat and Tote Bags are always popular. Our vibrant direct channel business in Japan includes a dedicated website, contact center and distribution center. L.L.Bean also has a large and growing customer base in Canada.
L.L.Bean catalogs are sent to over 150 countries. Our global website serves over 200 countries and territories. Product prices are converted into over 60 currencies, and accurate tax and duty calculations are provided.
L.L.Bean products are recognized around the world for their functional, innovative design and high quality. Today, over 140,000 items are available, including many that have been favorites for several decades, such as the Field Coat (1924), Chamois Shirt (1928) and Boat and Tote® Bag (1944). We also offer our Signature Collection, featuring updated classics with a streamlined fit and a dose of inspiration from the company’s archives. Whether it’s a fly rod or rain jacket, every product we sell is an opportunity for innovation, research and testing. “Our company founder, L.L., was adamant about testing each and every product to ensure it stood up to his rigid standards and of course his guarantee,” explains company President Steve Smith. “To this day, employees throughout the company continue to rigorously test our products in the field. It not only ensures we maintain top quality, but it lets us walk in our customers’ shoes, giving us a better perspective on their needs, wants and experiences. In addition, we have our own in-house, state-of-the-art testing laboratory, we utilize third-party testers and we use a small army of field testers throughout the world.”
In 2016, L.L.Bean employed over 5,100 people year-round. During the busy winter holidays that number nearly doubled to nearly 10,000.
While doing business today might differ from doing business in 1912, the philosophy of the company has not changed. As Leon Gorman, late Chairman of the Board, stated, “A lot of people have fancy things to say about customer service, but it’s just a day-in, day-out, ongoing, never-ending, persevering, compassionate kind of activity.” L.L.Bean President Steve Smith shares this way of thinking. “Our commitment to superior customer service is the very foundation of our brand. L.L. introduced the company’s Golden Rule, which is ’Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat customers like human beings and they’ll always come back for more.’ Leon strengthened that philosophy by making our customers stakeholders of the business. That sentiment and commitment is as strong today as it ever was. In an increasingly competitive industry and ever-evolving marketplace, L.L.Bean still stands out as the benchmark for customer service.” The Customer Satisfaction department, based right here in Maine, operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nearly 1,900 customer service representatives were employed during the 2016 holiday season – answering more than 90,000 calls on their busiest day in December. L.L.Bean’s reputation for outstanding customer service is frequently recognized through industry awards and honors as well as direct feedback from our customers.
L.L.Bean maintains a strong social media presence on sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
Our expanded order fulfillment center in Freeport processes an average of 45,000 customer orders a day and can store over 10 million units of merchandise. The hub of our distribution operations is a 1 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. In 2016, we shipped over 14.5 million packages – including nearly 1 million during our busiest week alone.
In keeping with tradition, we still build old favorites – including L.L.Bean Boots and Boat and Tote Bags – right here in Maine. In 2016, our manufacturing facilities in Brunswick and Lewiston employed over 400 people and is part of OSHA’s prestigious Voluntary Protection Program status for making safety and health a top priority. Company president Steve Smith is committed to preserving the company’s manufacturing foundation. “L.L.Bean was founded on an iconic item – the Maine Hunting Shoe – that was first produced in Maine by L.L.Bean employees more than a 100 years ago. Our commitment to manufacturing in Maine remains firmly in place and is unwavering. Over the last several years we have increased our investments in manufacturing and grown the employee base. Manufacturing is in our DNA and is a cornerstone of our brand. Our employees take great pride in this enduring tradition of exceptional quality craftsmanship, producing products that continue to resonate with our customers.”
L.L.Bean re-introduced everyday free shipping to the US and Canada with no minimum purchase and no end date in March 2011. This continues the tradition L.L. started in 1912 by offering all products in his catalog “postpaid.”