March 25, 2011

L.L. Bean Offers

Online shopping can be addictive and convenient, but some may shy away from purchasing items with a couple clicks of the mouse due to the cost of shipping. For L.L. Bean enthusiasts, starting March 25, that will no longer be a problem.

As of Friday March 25, apparel and outdoor gear maker L.L. Bean will permanently extinguish shipping fees for all online orders in response to customer demand. As stated in Business Week, L.L. Bean’s Chief Marketing Officer Steve Fuller said the Maine-based company is adopting the policy because that’s what customers want.

To promote its free shipping deal, the company is wrapping 10 MBTA (Massachusets Bay Transportation Authority) buses in advertisements that will make them look like mail-order packages. Anyone who rides the 10 buses from Monday to Saturday of next week will ride free, according The MBTA, or the T as it is called in Boston, has twice before offered free subway rides as company promotions, once for ING and another time for Microsoft, but those were only for three-hour periods. L.L. Bean is the first company to focus on the city’s buses, according to The Maine-based company is paying the MBTA $216,000 for the promotion, which is roughly double what the 10 buses would collect from fares in a typical week.

“Boston is a very big market for us,” said Laurie Brooks, L.L. Bean spokeswoman in “We’re going to be running a national TV ad, with 15 second and 30 second spots, but we’re not doing anything fun like this.’’ The T’s busiest bus routes carry about 16,000 riders on an average weekday, with 10 or so vehicles operating on each route. According to reports, a busy bus might generate $1,200 a day in fares.

During the promotion, the inside of the buses will also be covered in advertisements that will resemble the inside of an L.L. Bean package.

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