L.L. Bean announced its largest expansion ever, pegging an investment of $100 million on Web site technology, business systems, merchandise assortments and new stores. It will be the biggest single-year capital investment in the retailer’s 102-year history.
The move comes on the heels of the most profitable year for L.L. Bean since the retailer began operating stores and selling its signature rubber-soled boots.The $100 million investment will help fund four new stores in 2014 and expand its higher-end Signature apparel line. The company said it plans to also add 100 jobs to its staff of 5,100 full- and part-time workers.
L.L. Bean’s 2013 revenue came in at $1.56 billion, up 3 percent from the previous year and was the company’s fourth straight year of revenue growth. L.L. Bean also reported strong growth in online sales, which led the company to reduce the number of pages in its catalogs and reduce printing costs. Sporting equipment was a booming department for the brand, particularly in hunting and fishing products.