L.L. Bean products are now sold on Zappos in latest wholesale deal

  • L.L. Bean is partnering with Zappos. Starting Thursday Bean Boots will be available on Zappos, and fleece, flannel, and outerwear will roll out in the coming days.
  • This is the latest wholesale partnership for L.L. Bean. In July, it announced its first wholesale partnerships in its 108-year history with Staples, Nordstrom and Scheels.
  • L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith said the company has done well during the pandemic, including a “record-breaking” September, because its products have “mirrored the American psyche.”
  • Smith said they’re approaching these wholesale partnerships as tests, and want to introduce new customers to the brand by meeting them “where they are.”
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L.L. Bean products are now available on e-commerce destination Zappos. Starting Thursday, customers will be able to find the outfitter’s famous flagship product, Bean Boots, on Zappos’ site. More of L.L. Bean’s best-selling products, including fleece, flannels, and outerwear, will roll out on Zappos in the coming days.

“Their customer service and customer experience is amazing,” Stephen Smith, CEO of L.L. Bean, told Business Insider in an interview. The two companies began conversations about the partnership in Fall 2019. “Zappos wants to grow their assortment in the outdoor sports and outdoor market, where we have authority. And from a testing perspective, we get to learn about their e-commerce business.”

L.L. Bean has been a direct-to-consumer business for most of its 108-year history. But this past July, it began a foray into wholesale partnerships, announcing that for the first-time ever L.L. Bean products would be available through other retailers. The company launched its wholesale partnerships with Staples, Nordstrom, and midwest sporting-goods store Scheels — Zappos is the latest in this run. Smith said the company is approaching these partnerships as tests, as it dips its toes into wholesaling.

“We’re being very