L.L.Bean to Open Stores in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut
FREEPORT, Maine, February 13, 2006 - L.L.Bean, Inc. announced plans today to open stores in three new states, along with significant investments in retail and operations at the home of their corporate headquarters and Flagship Store in Freeport, Maine.
The first of several stores planned for Massachusetts will open in September 2006 in Burlington, Massachusetts. A new store in Center Valley, Pennsylvania will open October 2006, with a location in South Windsor, Connecticut to follow in summer 2007. According to the company, additional locations in greater Boston are being pursued for openings in 2007 and 2008. All of the stores will be similar in style and size to existing L.L.Bean stores in Maryland and New Jersey, at approximately 30,000 sq. ft. and will feature apparel and a selection of outdoor gear.
"We have a lot of things in the works," said Ed Howell, L.L.Bean's Chief Retail Officer. "In addition to expanding our retail presence in the Northeast, we are also moving forward with significant new investments at home here in Maine," he adds.
Coincident with the new store announcements, the company also has major changes on the drawing board at its Freeport, Maine retail campus. The company has acquired property adjoining the L.L.Bean Flagship and Hunting & Fishing Stores, giving it additional retail space on Main Street. With this purchase, L.L.Bean will be able to expand upon the outdoor theme of its existing retail campus by incorporating green space and natural landscaping including rocks, streams, waterfalls and outdoor activity areas. Similar features have helped make L.L.Bean's Flagship Store in Freeport one of Maine's leading tourist attractions.
L.L.Bean is also reaffirming its desire to develop a separate 4-acre parcel it owns across the street from the newly acquired property. Development of the parcel would provide hundreds of additional parking spots and bring as much as 100,000 sq. ft. of new retail space to the downtown. "With these announcements, we envision a major transformation for downtown Freeport," said company President and CEO, Chris McCormick. "These changes will significantly enhance the overall experience for L.L.Bean customers, and represent tens of millions of dollars of new commercial investment in our home town of Freeport," he adds.
Other Freeport investments include construction currently underway to expand L.L.Bean's order fulfillment operations in Freeport by 50%. The 330,000 sq. ft. addition to the company's Desert Road facility will support regional store growth and enhance operations efficiency and prompt order fulfillment. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2007.
L.L.Bean currently has retail stores located in Tysons Corner, Virginia; Columbia, Maryland; Marlton, New Jersey; West Lebanon, New Hampshire and Freeport, Maine, the site of their original Flagship Store. The company also has 14 Outlet Stores located throughout the Northeast.
Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. In 1967 Leon Gorman, L.L.'s grandson, took over as company president and led the company's transition to becoming the preeminent outdoor retail company it is today. With the company's modern day success as his legacy, Leon assumed the role of Chairman of the Board in 2001, passing the company leadership to Chris McCormick, the first non-family member ever to hold the position. While its business has grown and changed significantly over the years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder and continues his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors.
In the past five years L.L.Bean has donated over $6.3 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 120,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean Flagship Store in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year.