In its 105 years in business, L.L. Bean has become synonymous with several things: quality, durable outdoor gear, its famous catalog, and its particularly New England sensibility.
But it has failed to distinguish itself from the other outdoor brands it competes against, Steve Smith, the company’s chief executive, said Thursday.
Since taking the helm of L.L. Bean, Smith has sought to use his global perspective to widen the audience for the brand. That means more diverse faces in its new ad campaigns. And it means an increased push to stand out from competitors such as Land’s End and Eddie Bauer and the “contrived posers” that feign a familiarity with the great outdoors: “The folks who take people who shouldn’t be outdoors and then dress them up,” he joked.
L.L. Bean has $1.6 billion in annual sales and 51 stores, kiosks, and outlets across the country. But it derives $1 billion of that revenue from e-commerce, Smith said. The company’s growth had stalled as its customers have aged, and sales have been flat for the past two years. The brand also weathered a storm of controversy around the political contributions of one of its board members, Linda Bean, who had donated $60,000 to a political action campaign in support of President Trump.
Read all about it in the New York Times.
“The retail industry is in total distress,” Smith said, “and outdoor clothing and apparel is heavily challenged.”
The company is taking a pragmatic approach to its brick-and-mortar stores, he said, opening just five a year and pushing deeper into urban markets, including a flagship store in the Seaport, which is set to open next spring.
The company also has begun selling goods out of its Bootmobile, which draws between $15,000 and $20,000 in daily sales during visits to college campuses. The company has also increased production and is on track to produce more than 750,000 pairs of its signature boots this year.
Those changes reflect the “end of the direct marketing model” and a shift of focus away from catalogues. The company is now tripling spending on advertising buys in print, radio, digital, and television in an effort to support retail in stores.
The heart of the campaign is the company’s new marketing slogan “Be An Outsider,” a play on the Bean name and an attempt to draw in younger audiences, a demographic they’re calling “outdoor family enthusiasts.” Too many serious outdoor brands have long celebrated the notion of man or a woman versus nature, with ads depicting a small person against a dramatic backdrop.
L.L. Bean’s new approach was developed with the Portland-based marketing firm VIA, Smith said. The ads are more playful and feature families of more diverse backgrounds than the staid catalogues of yore. In one short spot, a bunch of 20-something skinny dippers strip off their Bean gear on a dock before splashing into a lake. In another, an African-American dad who is vacuuming turns the nozzle on his kids when they come inside covered in leaves.
I think you just stepped in something.
The company has also made efforts to better align its manufacturing, marketing, and supply chain divisions, with the hopes of better serving customers (so yes, that might mean Bean boots might not sell out as fast). They’re also streamlining their offerings, focusing only on outdoor goods instead of sportswear, and moving away from making children’s clothing and focusing on youth outerwear. Parents don’t want to pay as much for clothing their kids will quickly grow out of, Smith said, but they look for durability.
He also said the company was surprised to learn in customer surveys that L.L. Bean’s “100 percent satisfaction” guarantee of all of its products didn’t seem to be valued as highly as assumed. He wasn’t clear about what that revelation will mean. Earlier this year, the company said it was reconsidering its generous return policy.....
Yeah, right, consumers don't care if you sell them a pos.
You might want to check the soles for, you know....
"Trump announces Jerome Powell as new Fed chairman" by Binyamin Appelbaum and Ana Swanson New York Times November 02, 2017
WASHINGTON — President Trump nominated Jerome H. Powell to chair the Federal Reserve on Thursday afternoon, bypassing Janet L. Yellen for a second term but turning to a replacement who is expected to stay the course on monetary policy if the economy continues its steady growth.
Then he is a fraud and no agent of change at all. Were he truly a populist, he would call for an end to the private central banking clique and its usurious control over our economic system.
Less certain is where Powell would lead the Fed if the economy falters.
Where did that come from? Economy faltering?
Related: Letting the Good Times Roll...
Well, a lot can change in a week, huh?
Powell, a member of the Fed’s board of governors since 2012, has consistently voted with Yellen, and colleagues consider him a centrist and pragmatist. But his tenure as a central banker has been relatively brief, and he has expressed skepticism in the past about the unconventional measures that the Fed has taken in the wake of the severe recession of 2008 and 2009.
Powell could also depart from the Fed’s current trajectory when it comes to regulating banks and other financial institutions — rules Trump has said should be loosened.
Powell is a Republican with deep roots in the party’s establishment and in the financial industry, a lawyer by training and investment banker by trade. As chair, a position some consider as the second most powerful post in government, he will be the voice of an institution that is charged with keeping the economy on track by adjusting interest rates that influence the decisions of millions of Americans.
Isn't Trump supposed to be at war with them?
Sick of the sound, smoke, and fury yet?
In replacing Yellen, Trump is breaking with precedent. The previous three Fed chairman were reappointed, in each case by a president of the opposite political party. Trump and his advisers wanted to pick their own Fed chairman.
The position requires Senate confirmation, but Powell is likely to attract broad support from the Republican majority. He won some Democratic votes when he was confirmed as a Fed governor in 2012, and when he was confirmed again in 2014.
There IS biparti$an$hip when it comes to banks!
Most expect Powell to maintain the slow but steady approach that Yellen has taken in raising rates and unwinding the portfolio of assets that the Fed purchased to boost the economy after the 2008 financial crisis. Powell remains a centrist voice in the Fed’s internal debates, arguing for the Fed to end its stimulus campaign at a slow and steady pace. Over the last year, that has placed him solidly among the majority led by Yellen.
“Our view is Powell is the GOP version of Yellen, with the added kicker of wanting to reduce regulation,” said Tom Porcelli, chief US economist at RBC Capital Markets. He said Powell was “the easy choice if you want to maintain continuity.”
But some argue that there is more uncertainty surrounding Powell’s approach than for other recent Fed chairs. Lewis Alexander, chief US economist at Nomura Securities, said it is unclear how aggressive Powell would be in responding to an economic slowdown.
“I don’t think it’s right to think of Powell as a Yellen clone,” Alexander said. “In terms of the core issues of monetary policy, we just don’t have much of a baseline for him.”
Powell would also be the first Fed chair in four decades who does not have a degree in economics — meaning he lacks a body of academic work that analysts can parse for his views.
As a member of the Fed’s board of governors, Powell also raised concerns that the Fed was trying too hard to revive economic growth with its massive bond-buying program — calling into question whether he would be as willing as Bernanke and Yellen to use such tools again.
Powell may also diverge from his predecessor on financial regulation. In a June appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell made clear that he did not fully embrace the Trump administration’s plans for significant reductions in regulation, released a few weeks earlier, but said that the Fed’s current rules showed opportunities for improvement.
“I see it is a mixed bag,” he said. “There are some ideas in the report that make sense, maybe not as expressed there, but it would enable us to reduce the cost of regulation without affecting safety and soundness.”
But, he said, “There are some ideas that I would not support.”
He could face significant internal pressure, however. Trump already has chosen Randal K. Quarles, the Fed’s vice chairman of supervision, to lead the push against regulation. The two men were colleagues at the Carlyle Group.....
See who we have running the system under Trump?
"The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in a decade to contain an increase in inflation stoked by the Brexit vote, in what is otherwise a moment of high uncertainty for the economy....."
At least Trump is bringing back the jobs:
"US adds 261,000 jobs in Oct. as hiring rebounds from hurricane damage" by Christopher Rugaber Associated Press November 03, 2017
WASHINGTON — US employers added a solid 261,000 jobs in October in a bounce-back from the hurricanes that slammed the Southeast in September.
The unemployment rate declined to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years, from 4.2 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday. But the drop in the rate occurred mostly because many people stopped looking for work and so were no longer counted as unemployed.
I'm sorry, say that again.
I guess if you don't count something it doesn't exist, huh?
You are getting nothing but fudged numbers and lies from your pre$$, people.
October’s burst of hiring largely reflects a rebound from the hurricanes that temporarily depressed job gains in September. But it also shows that for all their fury, the storms didn’t knock the economy or the job market off course. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 162,000, similar to the pace of hiring before the hurricanes.
‘‘Hiring got a boost from the post-hurricane rebound, but the underlying trend remained steady,’’ said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, a job-search website.
In part because of the durability of the job market, the Federal Reserve is likely on track to raise its short-term interest rate in December. That could lead to slightly higher mortgage rates and other borrowing costs over time.
Yeah, it's all about managing interest rates and the money supply. That's why the endless lies about a healthy job market need to be told, along with all the other bullsh!t narratives that spew forth from such specious arguments.
At the same time, Republicans in Congress proposed tax cuts Thursday that they say would fuel faster economic growth and job gains. That might be hard to achieve with unemployment already so low. Many employers already complain that they can’t find the workers they need.
(Blog editor just shakes his head. Yeah, can't find the workers you need, right)
Because the tax proposals would also swell the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion over a decade, the tax cuts might also be temporary. Tax experts generally say that permanent tax cuts are more likely to bolster the economy than are tax cuts that expire.
Since when have the politicians and the mouthpiece pre$$ carried about the deficit? Their concern here calls into question their motives.
When the Penn Wharton Budget Model examined a similar plan, it found that tax cuts would increase economic growth by 0.13 percent annually for a decade. That is a far cry from President Donald Trump’s claims that he could lift annual growth by a full percentage point on a sustained basis.
I think the Patriots will win Sunday, you think they will lose. Who is right?
The proportion of adults who are either working or looking for work fell last month to 62.7 percent, slightly lower than a year ago. That drop suggests that there aren’t many people on the sidelines who want jobs.
Let me start with the INSULT in BLUE first!
Yeah, those not working are lazy people who don't want jobs. I suppose the elitist pos reporter has to say that to keep his sh!t job.
Then for the CORN KERNEL OF TRUTH in this TURD!
The REAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE is 37.3%, higher than it was last year when it was at a 53-YEAR-OLD HIGH regarding lack of adult participation, and yet the whoreporate pre$$titute plays it all up as a sign of strength in the economy.
Btw, that is what I've been remarking all along and here I get confirmation on a Saturday. It's not like they are flogging that statistic day after day like certain other issues. Good thing those job numbers don't include women or blacks.
Despite a shortfall of workers, average hourly pay rose just 2.4 percent from a year ago, nearly one-half percentage point lower than September’s annual gain. That figure might have been distorted by the storms: Many lower-paid workers at restaurants and bars returned to work last month, and their influx could have depressed overall pay.
Tired of the endless excuses for ever-increasing wealth inequality yet?
You have to beg for a job in Bo$ton.
"Another spurt higher for Apple and other technology stocks helped the Standard & Poor’s 500 set a new record on Friday, and the index closed out an eighth straight week of gains. It was another mostly calm day for markets after a report showed that the U.S. job market strengthened last month, though not by as much as expected....."
"JFK files say Oswald, CIA link ‘unfounded’" Associated Press November 03, 2017
WASHINGTON — A document newly released Friday said allegations that Lee Harvey Oswald was connected to the CIA were ‘‘totally unfounded.’’
When did they forge or produce it?
A 1975 CIA memo said a thorough search of agency records was conducted to determine whether Oswald had been used by the agency or connected with in it in ‘‘any conceivable way.’’
The memo says the search came up with nothing. The memo also says there was also no indication that any other US agency used Oswald as a source or for recruitment.
They have jumped so far over the shark they look like fools. I guess that's the price to be paid to continue the cover-up seeing as admitting any involvement would be the end of them.
The memo was among government files related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination released Friday.
Many of the never-before-seen documents relate to Oswald’s mysterious trip to Mexico City weeks before the assassination.
Officials wondered whether Oswald had been trying to get visas at the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City in order to ‘‘make a quick escape after assassinating the president.’’
A CIA message sent Nov. 24, 1963 — two days after Kennedy was killed — says an ‘‘important question’’ that remained unsolved was whether Oswald had been planning to travel right away or return to the United States and leave later.
I want to know more about how he got back into the country after defecting to Russia.
The message said that although it appeared Oswald ‘‘was then thinking only about a peaceful change of residence to the Soviet Union, it is also possible that he was getting documented to make a quick escape after assassinating the president.’’
Yeah, right, there was Russian involvement. Oswald was sheep-dipped by the same intelligence agencies he was working for, and he he knew it. I'm just a patsy! That's why the lone nuts are shot dead now.
The National Archives on Friday released another 676 government documents related to the assassination — the third public release so far this year. Under law, all the documents were to be released last week.
Yeah, except Trump punted on all that. He melted in the face of CIA threats.
President Trump ordered the release of all documents related to the assassination, and they are expected to be made public on a rolling basis during the next three to four weeks. He also directed agencies to take another look at redactions and withhold information only in the rarest of circumstances.
Most of the latest release comprises 553 records from the CIA that previously were withheld in their entirety. There also are records from the Justice and Defense departments, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and the National Archives.
Bin Laden files back up US claims on Iran ties to Al Qaeda
Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti incubators, Iraqi WMD, and now this pile of cow flop!!!
That pathetic attempt to link Al-CIA-Duh to Iran fell flat on its face.