Chris McCormick

L.L.Bean, known for selling its trademark boots via catalog for more than a century, plans to make a bigger push into brick-and-mortar retail by more than tripling the number of domestic stores over the next five years, officials said Wednesday. The Maine-based company, which is coming off five years of increasing revenue, will open four stores this year before accelerating growth with a goal of at least 100 stores by 2020, CEO Chris McCormick told workers in a memo. The retail push will include Bean's first West Coast presence with the opening of stores in the Pacific Northwest.

The first nonfamily member to lead L.L.Bean says he's planning to step down in 2016 after more than a decade as CEO. Chris McCormick, president and CEO, told employees in a memo that he's giving early notice so there can be a smooth transition. During his tenure, McCormick helped to transform the 102-year-old outdoors retailer from a catalog company into a multichannel retailer that does most of its business online. He's also sped up the opening of retail stores, with 19 stores now in operation and plans to open three more this year.

E-Mail This StoryPrinter-Friendly Format L.L. Bean Sales Grew Again in 2011 SportsOneSource Media Posted: 3/12/2012 L.L. Bean reported revenues rose 5.5 percent to $1.52 billion in fiscal 2011 from $1.44 billion 2010, its second-straight increase although it fell short of its internal goals. Its fiscal year closes at the end of February. The company, now in its 100th year, saw back-to-back declines in 2008 and 2009 after the recession hit but recovered in 2010, when revenues grew 5.7 percent. The catalog and retail operator saw sales drop 6.6 percent in 2009 after tumbling 7.8 percent in 2008.

Freeport, Maine -- L.L. Bean announced it will implements free standard shipping to all United States and Canadian addresses effective March 25. “We tested free shipping offers with no minimum purchase for several months and the customer response was overwhelming,” said Chris McCormick, president and CEO, L.L. Bean, Freeport, Maine. “It’s our opportunity to offer free shipping for all U.S. and Canadian customers with no minimum purchase, no end date, no conditions -- guaranteed.” With the implementation of free shipping to all U.S. and Canadian customers, L.L. Bean increased the benefits for its Visa Card members by doubling rewards

L.L.Bean will implement free standard shipping to all United States and Canadian addresses effective March 25. L.L.Bean introduced the concept of free shipping in 1912 by adding “post paid” in catalog copy. As L.L.Bean nears its 100th anniversary, the tradition of free shipping returns.

The last 20 months at L.L. Bean have confirmed one over-arching principle: Progress can be painful. Faced with stagnant sales, too much inventory and stale creative, Chris McCormick, CEO of L.L. Bean, had to make some difficult and unpopular decisions if he wanted to whip the company into fighting shape for the 21st century. He instituted numerous reorganizational initiatives that included eliminating 32 catalogs from the mail plan and 2,300 unproductive catalog pages. The staff cut 25 percent of its SKUs. Its vendor list was chopped in half after the company renegotiated nearly all major contracts, including printing, paper, e-mail fulfillment and data

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