L.L. Bean Has Record Year for Customer Acquisition

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L.L. Bean reported yesterday that sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 27 totaled $1.4 billion, a 9 percent gain over the previous year. Same-store sales rose 7 percent in the period.


The privately held multichannel retailer also said its catalog, Web and retail channels delivered positive results in 2004, the company's best year ever for new customer acquisition.


A record Christmas period, the introduction of new colors, updated styles and improved pricing contributed to the sales increase, president/CEO Chris McCormick said in a statement.


"We continue to operate in a price deflationary retail environment, which puts significant pressure on margins and operations," he said. "As a result, we are spending more marketing dollars than ever to drive unit sales while making considerable investments in new technologies and marketing initiatives to deliver future sales growth."


L.L. Bean, Freeport, ME, will open six retail locations in the 2005-07 period in the New England/mid-Atlantic region, McCormick said.


The company also plans to invest in improving the speed and capacity of its Web site, which is L.L. Bean's fastest-growing sales channel. Investments in customer service technology, retail point-of-service systems and customer database capabilities also are planned.


Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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