Consumer: Year Round Free Shipping

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) — Clothing and outdoors retailer L.L. Bean is upping the ante when it comes to free shipping by waiving shipping fees, all the time, with no minimum order.

Maine-based Bean, which announced the strategy Thursday, joins in offering permanent, no-strings-attached free shipping.

Steve Fuller, L.L. Bean’s chief marketing officer, said the Maine-based company is adopting the policy because that’s what customers want.

Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at Internet research firm comScore Inc., says the industry is moving in that direction. He says that in in 2009, 30 to 35 percent of online holiday purchases involved free shipping; this past holiday season, the figure grew to 40 to 45 percent.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)