L.L. Bean steps up production of iconic ‘duck boot’ for holiday shopping

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 file photo, Muslima Hassan trims the rubber bottom of an L.L. Bean boot at a facility in Lewiston. Bean said it’s in the midst of another record breaking year of sales for its iconic ‘duck boot,’ and there will be enough to meet the 2017 holiday crunch. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

FREEPORT (AP) — L.L. Bean is in the midst of another record-breaking year of sales for its iconic “duck boot,” and the Maine-based retailer says there will be enough boots to meet the holiday crunch.

The company’s sales of the leather-and-rubber boot have grown for several years in a row as it has undergone a surge in popularity. The company projects to sell about 750,000 of them this year, company spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said.

In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, a Bean Boot displayed at the L.L. Bean manufacturing center in Lewiston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

That would be 100,000 more than last year, and nearly three times the amount sold in 2012. The company has eliminated most of the backlog for boots and doesn’t anticipate problems with availability during the holiday shopping season, Beem said.

“We are working fast and furious to keep up,” Beem said. “We have been expanding year over year over year.”

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Customers have grown accustomed to having to wait for their boots around the holidays in recent years. There remain some backlogs for “small batch boots,” which have different styles and colors, Beem said.

But production of the traditional boot has been aided by the addition of a new building that doubles production space in Lewiston, where components of the boots are made.

The “duck boot” has been around for more than 100 years and is immortalized by a giant boot outside L.L. Bean’s home store in Freeport. L.L. Bean has said it wants to top a million sold next year.

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