L.L. Bean No Longer Wants to Know What You’ve L.L. Been Up to

Photo: Mike Mozart (Flickr)

Chalk it up to the incredibly high creep factor or a second consecutive year of flat sales, but clothing and outdoor equipment chain L.L. Bean’s foray into blockchain-connected attire has reportedly been cancelled. What’s more, the company is downsizing its workforce and eliminating bonuses for employees for the second time in ten years.

The company’s original idea was to stitch flexible sensors (provided by startup Loomia) into its boots and coats. The sensors could have collected data like temperature, number of washes, and how often you wore your Bean boots, according to the company’s innovation specialist Chad Leeder. That data would then be sent—because cryptocurrency is in right now—to the public Ethereum blockchain platform, and apparently would be used by L.L. Bean to both “show whether customers use the products as intended” and to find out “whether new products live up to supplier promises.”


Of course, with that idea scrapped, and with Leeder remaining mostly mum on the matter per the Wall Street Journal, you won’t have to worry about your anorak snitching on you when you skip laundry day.

News of the experiment’s cancellation reportedly comes amid a staff memo distributed by CEO Steve Smith discussing the company’s recent dip in sales, the cost and difficulties encountered due to an updated fulfillment system in April of last year, and a plan to eliminate 100 employees before the end of April 2018.

[Wall Street Journal]

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