In episode 419 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Greg Elder, chief retail officer at L.L.Bean, a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. During the wide-ranging conversation, Elder provides an overview of L.L.Bean's recently announced 2023 omnichannel growth plans (0:50), the retailer's approach to wholesale partnerships (2:00), and its decision to open physicals stores in new markets such as Quebec (6:40). He shares how L.L.Bean's store, catalog and e-commerce businesses work together to support brand growth (8:20), as well as how the brand delivers an omnichannel experience through its brick-and-mortar stores (9:10).
Furthermore, Elder discusses the new omnichannel functionalities that L.L.Bean has recently introduced (10:25), why the business invested in technology to power these initiatives (13:20), and how the retailer will evaluate future new store opportunities (15:45). Lastly, he shares L.L.Bean's product strategy when merchandising stores in new markets (17:45) and the industry trends he's most excited about heading into 2024 (18:50).
Greg Elder is the chief retail officer for L.L.Bean. In his role, he's responsible for leading L.L.Bean’s Stores Division, currently composed of 56 retail and outlet stores in 19 states. Elder has oversight of L.L.Bean's International Division that sells product throughout the world on its global e-commerce site, in addition to significant in-country direct-to-consumer and store operations in Canada and Japan. Elder is also responsible for the Direct to Business Division that sells products with business logos/embroidery for outfitting and recognition, as well as L.L.Bean's Wholesale channel that works with key national and outdoor independent specialty accounts to sell products in over 200 locations nationwide. Prior to L.L.Bean, Elder spent 15 years at Eddie Bauer in a variety of roles. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN with a B.A. in Business and Philosophy and lives in Yarmouth, ME.