Opinion: Bootmobile


Grace Morrison, Staff Writer

Although the Bootmobile is hilarious and absolutely adorable, the L. L. Bean pop up shop on Britton Plaza is a cash grab. Yes, L. L. Bean is an expensive, high-quality brand, but are their prices worth it and what good does the pop up do for Dickinson as a whole? From what I saw, students were browsing and occasionally buying one item, while older adults (possibly professors or locals from the neighborhood) were buying more. This observation makes sense, considering the age and wage gap. Most of the clothing was no less than $100, and the accessories started at $20, excluding a singular keychain. I was interested in a winter hat, but the bright multi-color and funky patterns were not for me. Free stickers were an added bonus, but are the bare minimum. 

L. Bean seems to have taken our financial situation as college students into account, offering a 10% discount and gift cards for in-person purchases. They also offered a 50% discount for online purchases. One large and a few smaller gift card giveaways continued throughout the day as an incentive for curious students.

Steve Smith, President and CEO of L. L. Bean graduated from Dickinson College in 1992 with a major in Art History and a minor in Physics. Although a testament to a liberal arts education and Dickinson, Smith seems to not have done much for his alma mater.

Smith told the publication Mainebiz, “L. L. Bean Inc. had its strongest year in company history in 2020 and is on track to do even better this year.” 

I have some hang-ups buying from L. L. Bean since their owner and board member’s capital donation to the Republican Party. Just like L.L. Bean supports candidates with their money, we have the power to vote with our money. I did not buy anything from the L. L. Bean pop up shop, but if I wanted to, I could shop online for a cheaper price with better deals. What seems like a nice gesture from a large corporation is yet again another opportunity to profit off of college students.