FREEPORT, Maine — With the final retail push underway, Chris McCormick, L.L. Bean’s chief executive, played Santa’s helper against a backdrop of conveyor belts and beeping front-end loaders as he boxed up slippers and shirts. But there was little time to reflect on the holiday cheer those gifts will bring because he was busy concentrating to make sure no shipments went astray.
At L.L. Bean, top executives abandoned their desks to work in the shipping department and to answer customers’ phone calls as part of an annual all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure last-minute purchases arrive at their destinations before Christmas.