Ironic totes help deliver L.L. Bean’s second-best revenue year - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Saturday, March 18, 2023

Ironic totes help deliver L.L. Bean’s second-best revenue year


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Dive Brief:

  • L.L. Bean on Friday reported that 2022 net revenue reached $1.7 billion, “a slight decrease” from the past two years, but nevertheless its second-strongest result in its 110-year history. Last year, revenue rose 14%. As a private company the retailer isn’t compelled to report its full results.

  • Men’s and women’s apparel set a combined sales record, with travel up 23%, boots up 24% and extended sizes up 15%. Gen Z’s embrace of its personalized embroidery services, which spurred the “Ironic Boat and Tote” trend, drove sales of its classic canvas bags to a 10-year high.

  • The retailer announced a multi-year, $50 million renovation of its Freeport, Maine, flagship store and campus that will create “a more immersive customer experience,” according to a company press release.

Dive Insight:

L.L. Bean and its well-known fishing boot may be more than a century old, but it continues to do well with some of its oldest designs.

That has meant some upgrades, including the creative ways customers on their own began personalizing the company’s stiff canvas tote bags. But the retailer itself has joined others in expanding its apparel sizing options and pricing them more fairly. On Friday the company said it has introduced more styles in more size options, instituted a one-price model for apparel and plans to add more options this year and beyond.

The “Ironic Boat and Tote” trend drove sales of L.L. Bean’s classic canvas bags to a 10-year high.

Retrieved from ironicboatandtote on March 17, 2023


The company employs more than 5,500 people globally in L.L.Bean retail stores and across offices and homes in Maine, Costa Rica, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, per its release. As a result of the banner year, they will receive a 13.5% performance bonus, which includes a 7.5% cash bonus and a 6% 401(k) contribution.

The company’s multimillion-dollar investment in its flagship campus comes as other outdoor retailers have amplified the experiential nature of their locations. 


Daphne Howland, Khareem Sudlow