Layoffs Likely for L.L. Bean

Although L.L. Bean was still taking Christmas orders up until noon on Dec. 23, the apparel, outdoor gear and home goods cataloger had by then already declared this year a bit of a bust.

According to published reports, president/chief operating officer Chris McCormick said in a memo to employees that L.L. Bean had missed its sales targets by at least 10%.

As a result—and given that early 2009 is not likely to get better—the Freeport, ME-based mailer is considering restructuring, cost cutting and layoffs. L.L. Bean will offer voluntary retirement incentives, McCormick said. Depending on how its cost cutting measures go, the company will decide what steps it needs to take in January or February.

L.L. Bean has already decided to put the brakes on retail expansion plans. It will open just two of eight previously planned new stores in 2009.