February 21, 2020
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LL Bean to cut 200 jobs, close its Lewiston call center

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
In this March 16, 2016, file photo, shoppers exit the L.L. Bean retail store in Freeport, Maine. In a statement on Friday, March 15, 2019, the company said revenues grew by 1 percent in 2018, nearly flat at $1.6 billion, in a changing and challenging environment for retailers. The board on Friday awarded performance bonuses of 5 percent of pay for workers. Last year, there were no annual bonuses for the first time in a decade.

L.L. Bean Inc. will cut 200 workers now and is expected to close its Lewiston-based call center in 2021, according to reports from the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Carolyn Beem, a spokeswoman for the Freeport-based retailer, said the company must streamline operations to position itself for long-term growth.

The layoffs will affect workers at all levels of the company, Beem said. Those workers will remain on the payroll through February and receive severance packages and outplacement service.

Its 130 employees at the Lewiston call center have been offered similar positions at L.L. Bean’s Portland call center. They will also have the option to work from home when the facility closes in 2021.

The cuts leave about 3,500 year-round employees in Maine and 5,200 company-wide.

In January 2018, L.L.Bean started an employee buyout plan and other belt-tightening measures after a couple years of flat sales. Despite only modest revenue gains that year, the company paid out performance bonuses in 2019.

 


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