LL Bean Ends Famous Guarantee

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  1. #1
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    LL Bean Ends Famous Guarantee

    Big mistake IMHO.

    Continuing the trend of a declining brand.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-...20has%20killed




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  2. #2
    Big mistake in that I'd say that's the last thing they've got going for them.

    Their failings are in marketing and product r&d.

    I can count on one finger the number of products I've bought from them in the past 10 years.

    I loved their stuff 20 years ago, but the brand never left 1995.

    This move is a sign that the nostalgia is running out

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  3. #3
    Edd's Avatar
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    For many years I received a gift certificate for Beans at Xmas. With that incentive gone, I simply have no reason to shop there. The style of the clothing is a non-starter, and you can find comparable gear easily, for better prices.

    That said, Ive been rocking the same Wildcat snow boots I bought there 15 years ago. Damn things just wont wear out. I think they were $75. Nothing special, no Gore-Tex or anything but my feet are dry.


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  4. #4
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadheadskier View Post
    Big mistake in that I'd say that's the last thing they've got going for them.

    Their failings are in marketing and product r&d.

    I can count on one finger the number of products I've bought from them in the past 10 years.

    I loved their stuff 20 years ago, but the brand never left 1995.

    This move is a sign that the nostalgia is running out

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    Spot on.


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  5. #5
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    And this proves my point that this decision is not because of abuse but because of cost. Just one year ago they were touting this as core to their brand:

    A Business Insider reporter put the policy to the test last year by returning four-year-old shoes with broken stitching. He recounts that the cashier immediately accepted the return and asked for no proof about when he purchased the shoes. "Two days later, the brand-new shoes were waiting on my doorstep," Business Insider writes.

    At the time, an L.L. Bean spokesperson told the site that the return policy was taken advantage of less than might be expected.

    "Our guarantee is not a liability, but rather a customer service asset — an unacknowledged agreement between us and the customer, that always puts the customer first and relies on the goodwill of our customers to honor the original intent of the guarantee," spokesperson Mac McKeever told Business Insider.
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  6. #6
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    A new article with some new information. LLB claims that the policy costs them $250 million....over five years I would presume but it is not clear. They claim that the return rate "that violates their guarantee policy" had doubled to 15%.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/228058...Is%20No%20More

    I would point to the Patagonia anecdote at the bottom.

    Also, LLB has done away with free shipping. You now need to spend at least $50 to get free shipping. Apparently it is now a tiered rate structure.

    This all sounds like cost-cutting to me. Methinks LLB is not doing well.
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  7. #7
    JimG.'s Avatar
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    And now the lawsuits begin:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...cid=spartandhp

    People in general suck. I know a lot of folks here think this is only about cost cutting, but I don't know any rational business person who would blame LL Bean for ending a policy that is quite obviously abused.

  8. #8
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimG. View Post
    And now the lawsuits begin:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...cid=spartandhp

    People in general suck. I know a lot of folks here think this is only about cost cutting, but I don't know any rational business person who would blame LL Bean for ending a policy that is quite obviously abused.
    Suing them is plain stupid. A waste of time.

    But once again this unnecessarily has caused some bad PR for LLB. That, itself, is stupid from a business perspective. Why create such a terrible PR shitstorm?

    All signs point to a company that is struggling and this was another nail in the coffin.

    As for me, I voted with my wallet a long time ago because of service issues and overall shitty product. We probably spent, between gifts and the three of us, at least $1,000 a year on LLB orders. Now it is zero. That was because their credit card program and issuer went to shit and LLB let it happen. We just moved to a different store(s), online and brick and mortar.

    I want to hold out hope and want to see a New England brand endure, but I think that they are a victim of a very tight industry and are giving up what made them stand out. Their products have slipped and they are now always "behind the curve" in terms of style and technology to save money.

    Oh well.

    As to abuse, it was not a big issue.....a year ago. http://www.businessinsider.com/i-tes...-policy-2016-8

    Now that their revenues are down...for a number of reasons...it must be an issue now. A 15% abuse rate is relatively low and could be easily addressed rather than throwing out your biggest selling point. But I am not in the boardroom and this doesn't impact me as we're already gone as customers.
    Last edited by thetrailboss; Feb 14, 2018 at 2:16 PM.
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  9. #9
    JimG.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thetrailboss View Post
    Suing them is plain stupid. A waste of time.

    But once again this unnecessarily has caused some bad PR for LLB. That, itself, is stupid from a business perspective. Why create such a terrible PR shitstorm?

    All signs point to a company that is struggling and this was another nail in the coffin.

    As for me, I voted with my wallet a long time ago because of service issues and overall shitty product. We probably spent, between gifts and the three of us, at least $1,000 a year on LLB orders. Now it is zero. That was because their credit card program and issuer went to shit and LLB let it happen. We just moved to a different store(s), online and brick and mortar.

    I want to hold out hope and want to see a New England brand endure, but I think that they are a victim of a very tight industry and are giving up what made them stand out. Their products have slipped and they are now always "behind the curve" in terms of style and technology to save money.

    Oh well.

    As to abuse, it was not a big issue.....a year ago. http://www.businessinsider.com/i-tes...-policy-2016-8

    Now that their revenues are down...for a number of reasons...it must be an issue now. A 15% abuse rate is relatively low and could be easily addressed rather than throwing out your biggest selling point. But I am not in the boardroom and this doesn't impact me as we're already gone as customers.
    Welcome to the retail apocalypse. LL Bean is far from alone all the brick and mortar retailers are struggling. Soon they will all be history.

    Then the same people who file these stupid lawsuits and who complain about cost or return policies will be whining about the lack of human interaction and customer service. You can't pay next to nothing and expect to get everything. Look at how difficult and expensive many e-retailers make it to return products. We will go from generous customer service to "you bought it and now it's yours".

    Can't wait until retailers eliminate shipping companies and start delivering with drones. Watch the lawsuits grow when drones hit houses, cars, or people with deliveries. Ya that's gonna be great.

  10. #10
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimG. View Post
    Welcome to the retail apocalypse. LL Bean is far from alone all the brick and mortar retailers are struggling. Soon they will all be history.

    Then the same people who file these stupid lawsuits and who complain about cost or return policies will be whining about the lack of human interaction and customer service. You can't pay next to nothing and expect to get everything. Look at how difficult and expensive many e-retailers make it to return products. We will go from generous customer service to "you bought it and now it's yours".

    Can't wait until retailers eliminate shipping companies and start delivering with drones. Watch the lawsuits grow when drones hit houses, cars, or people with deliveries. Ya that's gonna be great.
    Job security for lawyers?
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