L.L. Bean’s Duck Boots Already On Backorder Despite 100 Additional Workers Hired To Make Them

duckbootsIf you’re looking forward to splashing around this winter in L.L. Bean’s aggressively unglamorous, USA-made duck boots, you’ll need to plan ahead: some styles and sizes are backordered by a month before there’s even a single snowflake in the sky. The duck boot factories are cranking them out as fast as they can, and simply can’t keep up with demand.

Of course, this could all be backwards: the early demand could be from eBay flippers stocking up to sell the boots for double or triple the original sticker price to desperate people with wet feet. Last year, wait times stretched into the spring during December, and the only way to get a pair while it was still snowing was to turn to eBay.

Or could it be that this very story is playing right into their strategy: creating a shortage to make people want the boots more, and creating desire through scarcity? You probably hadn’t even thought about which winter boots you’ll be wearing this year until you read this story.

L.L. Bean reports that it has made changes to keep up with demand, short of outsourcing production to other companies, in the US or offshore. “We’re making them literally as fast as we can,” a company spokesperson told Bloomberg News, using the word “literally” correctly in a sentence. They purchased a new molding machine and hired and trained 100 more boot-makers. They thought that they were ready, and apparently customers are even more ready.

Why Can’t L.L. Bean Keep the Darn Duck Boots in Stock? [Bloomberg News]