L.L. Bean distances itself from Trump-supporting heiress

More often than not, politics and business is a difficult mix and the scrambling that L.L. Bean officials are doing is further proof.

L.L. Bean heiress Linda Bean donated $60,000 to a PAC supporting Donald Trump, an amount over the legal limit, according to the Federal Election Commission. But even if it wasn’t, there’s a fair chance that someone would be urging a boycott of the Maine retailer anyway.

The Grab Your Wallet movement is targeting businesses that supported Trump and is now zeroing in on L.L. Bean, the Portland Press Herald reports.

And L.L. Bean is plenty worried. Its CEO posted a lengthy message on the company Facebook page last night.

We were disappointed to learn that Grab Your Wallet is advocating a boycott against L.L.Bean solely because Linda Bean, who is only one of 50+ family members involved with the business, personally supported Donald Trump for President.

L.L.Bean has been a family-owned business since it began back in 1912. L.L.Bean is a values driven company that has long been inspiring people to live life outdoors. For the last 105 years, L.L.Bean has been singularly focused on offering high-quality, satisfaction-guaranteed products and outstanding customer service in the Maine tradition. This commitment has allowed us to not only employ 5,000 hard-working people, but also donate tens of millions of dollars to non-profit organizations promoting environmental stewardship, educational attainment and a host of other worthy causes at the local, state and national levels.

Our owners, employees, and customers hold views and embrace causes that are individual and diverse. We are united by our love for the outdoors and our guiding principles established back in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean himself who believed “do unto others” was not just a saying, but a way of life. We fully acknowledge and respect that some may disagree with the political views of a single member of our 10-person board of directors. Like most large families, the more than 50 family member-owners of the business hold views and embrace causes across the political spectrum, just as our employees and customers do. And as every member of the family would agree, no individual alone speaks on behalf of the business or represents the values of the company that L.L. built.

With this in mind, we are deeply troubled by the portrayal of L.L.Bean as a supporter of any political agenda.

L.L.Bean does not endorse political candidates, take positions on political matters, or make political contributions. Simply put, we stay out of politics. To be included in this boycott campaign is simply misguided, and we respectfully request that Grab Your Wallet reverse its position.

Shawn Gorman
L.L.Bean Executive Chairman

Aside from the size of the donation, there’s nothing illegal about an individual choosing to support a candidate; that’s what civic engagement is all about. But Bean is all about the brand and the image it conveys.

It depends on being trendy and hip and is clearly worried that Donald Trump is not.