And now for something a little lighter.
Speaking of light, let’s discuss the L.L. Bean profit margin.
Last month, while Deepak and I were livin’ free or dyin’ back in New Hampshire (where his family resides), we spent a goodly amount of time shopping. The reasons for this are manifold:
1) It’s cold. Coming from L.A., we don’t have the proper clothing to hang around outside for too long. “You could just stay at home!” you might suggest. Er, no — due to generalized conservation efforts (which I wholeheartedly understand/applaud/was raised under), Deepak’s parents’ thermostat hovers at a chilly 50°-ish. Might as well beeline for the loving embrace of a heat-blasted Bloomingdales outlet.
2) Owing to the aforementioned vow to live free or die (you feel me, pre-vengeful shootout Walter White?), New Hampshire boasts some hot prices! Stripped of that “big city markup” that you might find in the Beverly Hills Loehmann’s flagship, and sans all those pesky taxes, NH’s end-of-year sale prices can approach the line of Downright Reasonable.
3) Selection! Near Deepak’s parents’ house lies an outpost of Premium Outlets. Fabulous! Now, there are 11 Premium Outlet malls around California, so it’s not like we’re hurting here. But they’re generally far away from where we live, and of course you have to pay the pesky aforementioned tax. And CA does not skimp on these fees, my friends. Sacramento is all too willing to “live expensive or die,” with average sales taxes around the state of ~10% or so. This is tithing-esque! I do not have the tithe of my life while paying extra.
While in New Hampshire, we spent a lot of time in an L.L. Bean outlet. This was due to the previously discussed lack of wardrobe readiness for the chilly temps. While there, I discovered that the company apparently attempts to re-sell monogrammed and personalized tote bags that have been returned.
To quote Samantha Jones (which I haven’t done since an ill-conceived attempt to convey how “fun” I was during an early Facebook iteration of my profile in which I listed her “When I RSVP to a party, I make it my business to come!” line in the Favorite Quotes section of my profile 10 years ago): “Why? But most importantly, WHY?”
Then, there are the even less versatile monogrammed Xmas stockings. Come on, people. Figure your personalized gift receptacles out!