Although sales at apparel and sporting goods cataloger L.L. Bean fell $70 million last year—to $1.07 billion from $1.14 billion in 2001–the company is paying employees $13 million in bonuses. The company’s robust December sales, the strongest in Bean’s 90-year history, improved its profits enough to provide the “vast majority” of its employees with 5% bonuses, according to a company release.
In January, Bean laid off 175 employees, or 4% of its workforce. The Freeport, ME-based company described the layoffs as the culmination of a four-year evaluation of its operations.