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L.L.Bean announces layoffs, reduced call center hours due to online shopping surge



L.L.Bean is reportedly slashing its headcount and reducing its call center hours in response to an increase in customers shopping online.

As of July 15, the outdoor clothing and equipment brand will only allow shoppers to call its support line four hours each day — a steep reduction from its current 16-hour daily operating windows, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.

As a result, L.L.Bean doesn’t need as many staffers, USA Today earlier reported.

Though L.L.Bean didn’t specify how many positions will be affected, it has more than 500 employees in its call center department — many of which work remotely, outside the company’s Maine headquarters.

L.L.Bean said that it’s reducing its call center hours and as a result, doesn’t need as many staffers in its call center. Michael L. Diamond / USA TODAY NETWORK / USA TODAY NETWORK

It also wasn’t immediately clear what L.L.Bean’s new hotline hours will be, though the company told USA Today that more than 90% of its customer calls come in between 8 am and 8 pm.

“As more of our customers choose self-service and shop through our digital and retail channels, customer contacts have declined over the last four years,” the company said, according to USA Today.

“Simply put, L.L.Bean customers shop differently today than in the past and we must adapt,” the company added. “Unfortunately, this does result in a reduction in staff. Impacting people’s jobs and schedules is never a decision L.L.Bean makes lightly, and we will be offering impacted employees’ severance, outplacement services and, for those who are eligible, company retiree benefits.”

L.L.Bean also reassured that these changes are solely based on “long-term customer trends,” and shouldn’t reflect a larger trend in the retail industry.

The last time L.L.Bean conducted a round of layoffs was in 2020, when it axed 200 staffers, per USA Today.

Because L.L.Bean is a privately held family company that was founded more than a century ago by Leon Leonwood Bean, its financial and operational information aren’t publicly available.

Though L.L.Bean didn’t specify how many positions will be affected, it has more than 500 employees in its call center department — many of which work remotely, outside of the company’s Maine headquarters. Getty Images

A case study on L.L.Bean‘s finances published to Google Cloud, however, estimates that the retailer’s “e-commerce engine is particularly robust, accounting for $1 billion of the company’s $1.6 billion in annual revenues.”

Despite a reported increase in digital shopping traffic, L.L.Bean is “actually planning on opening four stores this year and continue to invest in retail expansion,” company spokesperson Jason Sulham told USA Today.

Though Sulam didn’t specify where the new locations would be, News10 reported that Kingston, NY, is set to welcome an L.L.Bean outpost sometime this spring.

A case study on L.L.Bean’s finances published to Google Cloud estimated that the lion’s share of the retailer’s annual revenues comes from its e-commerce sales.

Local Connecticut outlet CT Insider also reported that L.L.Bean will open in Enfield this fall.

Last year, L.L.Bean also expanded its brick-and-mortar footprint with the opening of two new stores in Massachusetts, plus two additional openings in Quebec, Canada.

Representatives for L.L.Bean did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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