[March 28, 2018] Years ago I had the opportunity to lead an overnight backpacking trip in western Arizona. I was still young back then, but my backpacking experience was broad. During the trip we gave our hiking equipment a thorough test of its reliability. From a local couple in the hiking party, I was to learn that L.L. Bean clothing and equipment was superior to the outdoor gear we brought.
The “hippie couple,” as my friends referred to them as, were big fans of the L.L. Bean brand and had proven themselves and their gear on our long hike. What I was to later discover is that the L.L. Bean company had been extraordinarily successful where their stores were established. I too bought rugged clothing at their stores and have been pleased.
A spokesman for the company, who I called earlier this week, told me that the company is a private, family company founded over a century ago. She told me L.L. Bean’s core values are what sets them apart from other outfitter type companies that sell a similar line of gear. L.L. Bean core values:1
- Ourdoors Heritage
- Safe and Healthy Living
L.L. Bean employees, all, can tell you what their core values are and also what they mean to them. If we were to compare these values with those of other successful companies, the similarities would stand out. Of course, success has common ground anywhere.
In the news lately, L.L. Bean recently raised the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21 years and also for an unexpected decline in sales this past year, but it is opening new stores because they see their brand continuing to grow. No matter how success is measured, this outdoors retailer has achieved near miracles in its 100 year history and will continue to do so. I still highly recommend their stuff to all my friends.