March 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

Steady web traffic helped L.L. Bean grow the top line in 2007

L.L. Bean turned in slightly higher total sales in 2007, but also reported a steady increase in traffic to LLBean.com. The number of visits to LLBean.com increased by 14% in 2007, to 81 million visits from 70 million visits in 2006.

L.L. Bean Inc. turned in slightly higher total sales in 2007, but also reported a steady increase in traffic to LLBean.com.

For the year, L.L. Bean, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported total sales of $1.62 billion, up about 6% from total revenue of $1.53 billion in 2006. L.L. Bean does not break out separate e-commerce sales.

“L.L. Bean has performed very well in a challenging retail environment, ending the year with a net sales increase over the prior year,” says CEO Chris McCormick. “We faced stiff headwinds as a result of a weakening economy.”

Despite only a moderate boost in overall revenue, the total number of visits to LLBean.com also increased by 14% in 2007 to 81 million visits from 70 million visits in 2006, the company says.

With growing Internet traffic, the web played a key role in helping L.L. Bean grow its business in a tougher economic environment, says Jim Okamura, senior partner at consulting firm J.C. Williams Group Ltd. “A 14% increase in web traffic means that when their customers are shopping they are doing more of it online,” he says. “The Internet was probably one of the biggest reasons as to why they were able to grow their sales last year.”

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