Todd Snyder has a new gig with L.L. Bean, but the company is eliminating 200 jobs.
As part of a realignment, L.L. Bean, an online, catalogue and retail operation, is reorganizing certain areas, according to a company spokeswoman. With 5,200 employees, L.L. Bean has about 3,500 year-round ones in its home state of Maine.
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The company is also planning to close its call center in Lewiston, Maine, next year, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal, which first reported the job cuts. L.L. Bean is offering all of the 130 Lewiston employees positions in its Portland, Maine, call center or the option to work from home, a company spokeswoman said via e-mail Wednesday. The Lewiston facility is located in a former department store that L.L. Bean purchased 33 years ago.
The company does not plan to close any of its 44 stores in the U.S. or the 28 others in Japan, the spokeswoman said.
The company issued the following statement Wednesday, “We are going through the process of reorganizing certain areas of the company, and unfortunately that includes an employee count reduction. As an organization in an ever-changing retail industry, we must continually adapt and invest so we can meet the needs of our evolving customers and position L.L. Bean for long-term growth. Part of that requires us to become a more nimble and streamlined organization, which is why we made the difficult decision to eliminate approximately 200 jobs across all levels of the company. We will continue to employ approximately 3,500 year-round employees here in Maine, including 2,000 in Freeport and 5,200 company-wide. Impacted employees will remain on the payroll through the end of February and everyone will receive severance packages and outplacement services.”
While the job cuts are not severe, the news coincided with the 107-year-old outdoor label’s splashy deal with designer Todd Snyder. L.L. Bean will make its debut at New York Fashion Week through a collaboration with Snyder at Pier 59. The alliance is the largest collaboration to date for the brand, and one that stemmed from an appreciation for American heritage design and the great outdoors. The 40-piece collection will be available this fall and will include Snyder’s reinvented takes on such singular L.L. Bean looks as the oil-cloth Bean boot, tote bag, puffer vest and the chamois shirt. The collaborative line will be sold via both L.L. Bean’s and Snyder’s e-commerce sites. In the past, Snyder has teamed up with such labels as Champion and Globe-Trotter for capsule collections.
L.L. Bean’s belt-tightening follows other retailers’ streamlining. Macy’s Inc. announced a dramatic restructuring Tuesday that will close 125 stores, cut about 2,000 workers and shut its dot-com headquarters in San Francisco and its corporate offices in Cincinnati. The 2,000 workers losing their jobs represent 9 percent of the corporate and support staffs.
The Freeport, Maine-based company has 44 stores in 18 U.S. states and 28 stores in Japan. For the fiscal year ending Feb. 24, 2019, L.L. Bean reported annual net revenue of $1.6 billion, a 1 percent uptick compared to 2017. In turn, L.L. Bean’s board approved a performance bonus of 5 percent of annual pay to approximately 5,400 eligible employees, as well as an additional 2 percent-enhancement 401(k) contribution.
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