L.L.Bean Chooses Barclays to Launch New L.L.Bean Visa Card Newly revamped rewards program now features free shipping, return shipping

and monogramming, a choice of three card designs, plus Visa Platinum or

Signature benefits

Barclays new Maine call center to uphold L.L.Bean's industry leading and

award winning customer service



    WILMINGTON, Del. and FREEPORT, Maine, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- L.L.Bean
 and Barclays today announced the launch of the new L.L.Bean Visa card,
 which will be available July 1. The card rewards loyal customers with
 coupon dollars good toward L.L.Bean merchandise every time they use the
 card, plus a wealth of new and improved benefits to make the card even more
 rewarding than before.
 
     Every time cardmembers make a purchase with their L.L.Bean Visa card,
 they earn coupon dollars good for L.L.Bean merchandise. Whenever
 cardmembers earn 10 coupon dollars, a $10 L.L.Bean coupon will be sent to
 them automatically via their account statement. The card has no annual fee
 and there are no limits on earned rewards. Cardmembers can earn coupon
 dollars faster when purchasing L.L.Bean merchandise or at the L.L.Bean
 Outdoor Discovery School. Cardmembers can also donate their L.L.Bean coupon
 dollars to support the National Park Foundation.
 
     "Launching a new card offering represents an important opportunity to
 build the trust and loyalty of our customers," said Chris McCormick,
 President and CEO, L.L.Bean. "In Barclays, we found a partner that shares
 our commitment to quality, value and customer service. Barclays went the
 extra mile with us to create a program that suits the needs of our
 cardmembers and positively reflects our brand. Our current and future
 cardholders will appreciate the expanded card benefits, outstanding
 customer service and continuity of the L.L.Bean coupon program."
 
     "L.L.Bean represents an iconic brand that stands out amongst its loyal
 customers, employees, partners and the communities in which it does
 business," said Lloyd M. Wirshba, Chief Executive Officer, Barclaycard US,
 the credit card business of Barclays PLC in the United States. "We believe
 that this new credit card product will add significant value for L.L.Bean
 customers and help foster an even further deepening of loyalty to this
 world-renowned retailer."
 
     As part of the selection criteria, L.L.Bean sought a bank partner that
 was willing to make a commitment to the state of Maine to support the new
 program. Barclays concluded that Maine represented an extremely attractive
 option for its continued expansion of customer service operations. Barclays
 selected a site in Wilton, Maine for its newest care center in the U.S.
 which opened earlier this month to serve L.L.Bean cardmembers as well as
 those from other partner programs. The facility's employees were immersed
 in an intensive training program developed in conjunction with L.L.Bean and
 based on its award winning service program -- to ensure cardmembers receive
 the same familiar, high quality L.L.Bean customer experience.
 
     Both L.L.Bean and Barclays are well known for providing superior
 customer service. In January 2008, L.L.Bean was ranked number one in
 customer service among all retailers in the National Retail Federation
 Foundation's third annual customer service survey. And in February, the
 company ranked second overall in BusinessWeek's 2008 Customer Service
 Champs annual ranking, which is based on J.D. Power & Associates survey
 data. In November 2007, a Forrester Research survey(1) named Barclays one
 of the best issuers in terms of useful customer service interactions and
 overall customer experience.
 
     Barclays worked closely with L.L.Bean to better understand the needs
 and desires of its loyal customer base and customize a program that added
 more value. In addition to earning L.L.Bean coupon dollars, the new card
 program offers free shipping, return shipping, monogramming and a choice of
 three card designs, plus Visa Platinum or Signature benefits with no annual
 fee and no limits on earned rewards. Consumers can apply for the card
 online at http://www.llbeanrewards.com or through any L.L.Bean channel.
 
     "We listened to L.L.Bean customers and learned that they really wanted
 free return shipping, in addition to the free monogramming and shipping
 that was already in place," said Shawn Gorman, Vice President of Card
 Services at L.L.Bean. "We made it an exclusive benefit for cardmembers and
 gave them the option of personalizing their card with three different
 L.L.Bean-inspired designs. Finally, the addition of extraordinary Visa
 Signature benefits
 
     -- such as access to exclusive events, enticing offers and
 complimentary concierge services -- truly increases the appeal of the
 L.L.Bean program."
 
     "The consumer value behind the new L.L.Bean Visa program stands out
 within the retail card category," said Dennis Nealon, Senior
 Director-Partner Programs, Barclaycard US. "And it has to. L.L.Bean
 customers expect no less from L.L.Bean. Customers also have so many payment
 options today that the value must be compelling."
 
     About L.L.Bean
 
     L.L.Bean, Inc. has been a trusted source for quality apparel, reliable
 outdoor equipment and expert advice since 1912. The company is
 headquartered in Freeport, Maine, just down the road from the original
 store. The company has grown from a one-man operation to a global
 organization with annual sales of over $1.6 billion. While its business has
 grown substantially, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder and
 continues his dedication to quality customer service and a love of the
 outdoors.
 
     About Barclaycard US
 
     Headquartered in Wilmington, DE, Barclaycard US creates customized co-
 branded credit card programs for some of the country's most successful
 travel, entertainment, retail and financial institutions, including US
 Airways, Barnes & Noble, BJ's Wholesale Club, Best Western, Travelocity and
 Carnival Cruise Lines. The company employs more than 1,200 associates, and
 was named a Top Employer in Delaware in 2007. For more information please
 visit http://www.barclaycardus.com.
 
     Barclaycard is a division of Barclays PLC, a major global financial
 services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards,
 investment banking, wealth management and investment management services.
 With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates
 in over 50 countries, employs 135,000 people, and services accounts for
 over 30 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information
 about Barclays, please visit http://www.barclays.com.
 
     1 "Customer Experience Index Snapshot: Credit Card Providers"; Nov.
 2007
 
 
 

SOURCE Barclays

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