If you tried to hop on the fashion bandwagon and order a pair of L.L. Bean “duck” boots last winter, you probably found yourself on a waiting list so long you just said fuck it, there’s always next year, because you’re not actually tromping around the bogs of Maine.
Well, Bloomberg Businessweek says it’s happening all over again—it’s not even quite October, and certain styles are already backordered. That’s even after the company hired new people and invested in new equipment.
“We’re making them literally as fast as we can,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg Businessweek, insisting that, “It’s not something we can just stamp out,” and adding, “The boots have been hand-sewn in Maine by our own skilled boot workers, and they always will be.” But it’s probably not hurting their business to make their boots look so stupidly hard to get, either:
The scarcity itself may be helping L.L. Bean, by setting it apart from competitors that make similar styles. Many fashion labels now sell duck boots, and the century-old, privately owned Bean counts on its legacy and craftsmanship for an air of exclusivity. That’s one reason it doesn’t outsource manufacturing to other factories, as much of the apparel and footwear industries do.
Another alternative is to hibernate for six months and therefore never leave your house.
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Photo via AP Images.