March 14, 2007, 12:00 AM

L.L. Bean sheds more light on e-commerce

L.L. Bean Inc., a company historically close-mouthed about its e-commerce program, is sharing a few more details. Web sales grew by 10% in 2006 while annual site traffic increased by 13% to 73 million visits.

L.L. Bean Inc., a company historically close-mouthed about its e-commerce program, is sharing a few more details.

The company, No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, grew its web sales by 10% in 2006 while total sales rose year over year by 4.6% to $1.54 billion.

While L.L. Bean didn’t break out any specific sales numbers for e-commerce, the company is disclosing its web site traffic, which grew to 73 million visits in 2006, an increase of 13% from 2005. For the second year in a row, e-commerce is L.L. Bean’s largest sales channel.

“We had a strong start and strong finish to the fall and winter selling season,” says L.L. Bean president and CEO Chris McCormick. “Although unseasonably warm weather had an impact on sales in December and early January, our business performed very well and the product line continues to hit the right mark with our customers.”

In 2007, L.L. Bean most likely will launch a separate e-commerce site in Canada, though a specific date has yet to be established. L.L. Bean also is earmarking about $90 million for a variety of new projects, including the opening of a new data center and expanding its fulfillment operations.

This summer L.L. Bean will open a 335,000 square foot expansion of the company’s order fulfillment center. That project will be followed up with the opening of a new data center in January 2008.

L.L. Bean also will continue to upgrade LLBean.com with more features, but has yet to break out any details.

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