L.L.Bean men’s and women’s apparel set a new record for the outdoor retailer last year as it held steady on gains made during the pandemic years.
The Freeport, Maine-based company said 2022 net revenue was $1.8 billion. That reflects a “slight decrease” in the year, the company said, but still managed to mark L.L.Bean’s second-best revenue year ever.
The company in 2021 reported net revenue of $1.8 billion, which was a 14% increase from the prior year.
“Our global teams continued to skillfully navigate a changing retail environment and uncertain economic climate,” L.L.Bean President and CEO Stephen Smith said in a statement. “From amazing products that delivered on innovation, function, and style to accurate inventory forecasting, supply chain agility, efficient fulfillment systems, engaging marketing and storytelling efforts, and industry-leading customer service – our team’s ability to ensure our customers were outfitted and cared for helped yield another strong year for our company.”
L.L.Bean, which is privately held, employs about 5,500 workers. It hired more than 4,000 for seasonal sales.
The company said it spent about $55 million on wage increases, bonuses, 401(k) contributions, and other benefits last year. That includes a board-approved, 13.5% annual bonus for employees as a result of the 2022 financial year’s performance.
The 110-year-old retailer cited its focus on omni-channel for last year’s performance. It also helped that it expanded active, rugged, and other high-performing categories during the year, along with expanding sizing.
On the brick-and-mortar front, the business opened two stores in the U.S., one in Japan, and five doors with Jaytex Group in Canada.
The company’s largest investment in physical retail is its “Freeport Experience” project, which it announced in January. L.L.Bean plans to pump more than $50 million into its experiential retail flagship in Freeport, Maine, with more details expected this year.
From a product performance standpoint, last year saw record apparel sales for men and women.
The retailer also cited the following as fast movers:
- Top Product: Wicked Good Slippers. L.L.Bean said it sold eight pairs per minute during the holiday selling season.
- Fastest-Growing Category: Travel, up 23%.
- Fastest-Growing Product: Quilted sweatshirts, up 112%.
- Fishing: Notched a record year, with 13% growth during the year.
Other categories called out by the retailer included boots, up 24%; women’s swimwear, up 10%; and a 15% increase in the company’s expanded sizes offering.