High Demand For “Lumberjack-Chic” or High Demand for Durable Boots During This Brutal Winter?

By: Lauren Smith

It’s no new news that this winter has been one for the books. With the snow surging well over 5 feet and coming down week after week, however, it is relatively new news for popular “New Englander” quality brand name company, L.L. Bean, to have unimaginable popularity for their winter “bean boots” this year. Is it because of the brutal New England weather that L.L. Bean boot sales skyrocketed this past winter or because of the increase in the style and look of that desired preppy yet scruff “New England look”?

It’s a recent fashion fad that has been spreading primarily among many New England colleges and cities. L.L. Bean is a well-trusted brand with their guarantee being “…to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L. Bean that is not completely satisfactory.” (llbean.com). It’s no wonder college students are drawn to their products; if you ruin them then you can just return them and receive a brand new product!

With the new popularity of the well-renowned “bean-boot” and the recent surge in demand has L.L. Bean scrambling to fill orders, upgrading its manufacturing equipment and adding a third shift at its Maine boot factories. L.L. Bean is a well-trusted and loyal brand. It takes 27 weeks for L.L. Bean companies to teach new employees the proper stitching and techniques for making the bean-boots’ as all are individually hand crafted. L.L. Bean’s Brunswick factory store manager, Royce Haines, says L.L. Bean hired 100 new employees and added a night shift to meet the demand. Haines also goes on to say that the demand is high and the back orders build up, so they have to always make sure they are on task and on top of things.

While the boots have always been popular among traditional outdoorsmen such as hunters and farmers, as they are very durable and also warm, they seem to have gone now in favor towards the fashion market, especially among college students and city folks. Yet, why is this that within the fall of 2014 and even into the spring of 2015, the sales and desire for these classic “Maine-O” boots price ranging from $100-$200, has increased so quickly? Does the weather have to do with it, or does fashion faux-pas play the main role?

It is no exaggeration that nearly every girl you see walking around on a college campus, for example at Merrimack College, has a pair of the famously acclaimed fall/winter icon: bean boots. You can catch them shown over a pair of leggings or skinny jeans, with the whole wool sock peeking out of the bean boot statement. Guys wear them too! College males will sometimes flaunt them by tucking their pants into them as well or even by just wearing sweats or flare denim jeans over the boots. They are definitely a must-have item this year among our generation.

“Obviously it’s a welcome surge in popularity for us” one manager of a L.L. Bean factory store remarks, however, the demand continues even through the new year. With the boot back-ordered till May, people are either going into L.L. Bean stores in search for the shoe or looking into different fashion-forward, yet durable footwear such as Hunter boots; another popular shoe among college campuses and among working city men and women.

The bean boot is a signature item, something you can spot as the L.L. Bean logo is marked clearly on the back of the heel. Its original rubber chain-tread bottom gives the customer unmatched comfort and performance as well as a lifetime guarantee. This may just be another fad or fashion trend that will seasonally circulate, but I believe with L.L. Bean’s loyal and strong brand name, college students and outdoorsmen alike will keep coming back each Fall for a pair of bean boots.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2014/12/18/371413482/new-popularity-of-l-l-bean-boots-sparks-scramble-to-fill-orders

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7 thoughts on “High Demand For “Lumberjack-Chic” or High Demand for Durable Boots During This Brutal Winter?

  1. Skye Stewart February 26, 2015 / 12:57 am

    I agree with you that bean boots will stay fairly popular each and every season, but I think this season it is especially a trend fad. Uggs used to be so popular and now no one really wears them anymore. You usually only see one or two people wearing them now. The same goes with plenty of other brands of clothing and/or footwear. I think the bean boots are special, though. Bean boots are the well-known trademark and logo of LL Bean and now plenty of other brands are trying to create the same type of boot. People obviously want the LL Bean brand of boots, though. I think this type of boot and brand fits well within marketing topics because it’s a brand that actually uses the boot as their logo. Even though this year the boots are so popular, LL Bean has still always had the same logo- and I can’t say that is going to change. When we see LL Bean branded clothing, it’s commonly known that we think it’s well-made and durable clothing. The same goes for the boots.

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  2. Julia Collins April 21, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    The Bean Boot was one of the strongest fads this winter. Everyone girl desire the “lumberjack-chic” look to be paired with a winter sweater and scarf. Personally, I am not an owner of a Bean-Boot, but I have the Bean-Boot of the 1990’s passed down from my mother, but I am still a fan. The trademark of LL Bean was very well known this winter, with having their boots sold out by Christmas before any snow was on the ground. It was very nice to see a company with such a good reputation do so well this winter, promoting staying green and their amazing customer service.

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  3. Michael Scuderi April 26, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    I think the Bean Boots are not just a average fashion trend because they have bin around for so long and there impeccable return system. L.L Bean has such a strong brand and is so excepted by the outdoor community that I don’t see them going away any time soon. there success is there high quality and fashionable clothing, shoe and outdoors’s equipment lines that they appeal to a wide rang of people. The best is that most of there revenue is from return customer that just love the high quality long lasting product.

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  4. Katherine Durant April 27, 2015 / 11:12 pm

    I own a pair of bean boots that I bought last summer before coming to college. I’ve never owned a pair before and after only a few weeks the tab on the heel of one of the shoes tore. Although I did not bring them back yet, I know I can go back and be refunded my money or given a new pair now matter how long I wait. This life time warranty that you speak of however, is not what keeps me returning as a customer. For years I have been purchasing the LL Bean mocs. And even though they say if they are worn out you can exchange them for a new pair I don’t feel as though that is the right thing to do. No customer should be exchanging an old worn out item of clothing for a brand new one and I think this is where that warranty contradicts itself. Bean boots may be called the latest fashion but there is no reason for customers to continue repurchasing this item once it is worn due to this warranty. They are a fad just like they were when my parents were growing up and in high school. Once the people stop wearing them LL Bean won’t be experiencing this back up with sales as they are now.

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  5. Briana Lynch April 28, 2015 / 12:47 am

    I liked Skye’s reference to Ugg boots and how those were a huge fad. I think that these two are a fad that will fade away in some time. However, I believe L.L. Bean will till be able to successfully sell these boots once the fad dies down. These boots are very durable and practical, meaning they go beyond being a fashion statement. While some people may be wearing them to be “lumberjack chic” I think many will see how high quality these boots are and continue to wear them even when the current popularity decreases. I was also interested to learn about the lifetime warranty L.L. Bean offers. That warranty not only exhibits good customer service, but it also showcases the company’s confidence in its products. That is something that I find very attractive and it definitely encourages me to consider buying products from them.

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  6. Lauren Smith April 28, 2015 / 2:30 am

    I agree with all of your comments in the sense that I do believe the bean boots to be a super fad of this year and even throughout the upcoming years, however none of you made comments in regards to the fact that these boots are so popular in the North East. I believe that the bean boot is so popular in New England because of the fact that they’re a great boot for both the fall and winter months and even because of the fact that the main LL Bean company resides in Maine, a very close neighboring state of ours. I agree with the statements made that the bean boot can be compared to the ugg boot in some senses, however, the bean boot remains apart of a very loyal and well trusted brand name, LL Bean, it provides many different qualities and aspects to the boot making it a “bang for your buck” type of product during the various months when boots come out to play, while uggs on the other hand are not an American company, they are very expensive, do not offer lifetime warranty, and offer very little supporting aspects to them. LL Bean will forever remain an outdoorsy type brand, but maybe with the high surge in their boots, they will begin to explore more fashion outlets too…

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  7. Patrick Barrett April 28, 2015 / 3:14 am

    Bean Boots have been a staple of winter wears in New England forever and i can say that they have been apart of my family since i was a little kid. Yet there is no denying that over this past year that the fashion statement to own and flaunt a pain has grown well above the common Bean Boot demand. The trend has been huge and one that i can see being popular for a few years more, but thats it. The boot has been around forever and i would never expect it to die yet this popularity reminds me very much of the ugg trend of out middle school and early high school rear. Bean Boots have taken their place and uggs have seen a major decline in popularity. I feel that amount the common New England families and wearers that have owned a pair forever the market will not die. yet the major popularity that it has seen will die soon as it had for the uggs of the past.

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