The Path Forward
The Path Forward

L.L. Bean CEO says demand for snow shoes, sleds already spiking ahead of winter

Key Points
  • Sales of bikes and boats have been strong in the spring and summer, but shoppers now want flannel, fleece and boots, L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith said. 
  • "I think people are connected to the outdoors in ways they have never been," Smith said. 
  • Other retailers are also reaping the benefits of more people trying to get outdoors and break a sweat.
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Consumers already appear to be gearing up to get outside this winter, with the coronavirus shutting gyms and severely limiting indoor activities. 

Sales of bikes and boats have been strong in the spring and summer, but now shoppers are stocking up on flannel, fleece and boots to keep warm when temperatures drop, L.L. Bean CEO Stephen Smith told CNBC'S "Squawk on the Street." 

"We have already seen a pop in sales on snow shoes, sleds, some of our outdoor hard goods for the winter season," Smith said Tuesday. "I think people are connected to the outdoors in ways they have never been." 

L.L. Bean, headquartered in Freeport, Maine, isn't the only retailer reaping the benefits of more people trying to get outdoors and break a sweat. Dick's Sporting Goods' online sales surged 194% during the latest quarter, as more people bought sneakers, athletic apparel, kayaks and camping accessories. 

Bike sales are soaring at retailers across the board, up 75% in March and April, according to data from NPD Group

"What we have seen is a total reconnection to nature, just being outside," Smith said. "There are incredible restorative benefits to being outside. ... We absolutely see that continuing through the fall and winter." 

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