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.