L.L.Bean Announces Entry into Chicago Market
Maine Company Blazes Trail West with Chicagoland Store
FREEPORT, ME, February 25, 2008 -- L.L.Bean is pleased to announce the expansion of its retail presence into the upper Midwest region of the US. The 96-year-old Maine outdoor gear and apparel outfitter will open its first store in the Chicago region in September 2008. The move into Chicago represents L.L.Bean’s first store expansion outside the Northeast corridor.
Planning is currently underway for a new 30,000-square-foot store at the Arboretum at South Barrington in Chicago’s affluent northwest suburbs. As part of the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the store will be built to US Green Building Council’s LEED standards. The Arboretum location will be L.L.Bean’s seventh “green” store, incorporating creative use of recycled and reclaimed materials as well as state-of-the-art, energy-efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems.
“Our stores are where the L.L.Bean catalogs come to life for our customers,” said Chris McCormick, President and CEO of L.L.Bean. “It’s very exciting to enter the Chicago market where we have a strong and dedicated customer base as well as abundant opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. We will offer our authentic product selection of active, outdoor sports gear along with our other popular lines such as men’s and women’s casual apparel and kids'."
L.L.Bean made the decision to expand its retail presence into the Chicago area as part of its broader retail expansion strategy. The Maine-based merchant has plans to operate 32 stores by 2012.
“L.L.Bean has many catalog and Web customers in the Chicago area, which is one of our largest markets. Our new store will showcase a unique product selection for our active outdoor customers,” said Ken Kacere, L.L.Bean’s Senior Vice President of Retail. The store allows Chicagoland’s devoted L.L.Bean fans and outdoor enthusiasts to experience firsthand all that the legendary retailer has to offer. Adding to the interest of the new store is the inclusion of L.L.Bean’s popular Outdoor Discovery Schools®, where expert instructors offer “Walk-On Adventures” introductory hands-on experiences in sports such as kayaking and fly fishing, providing customers an opportunity to learn about the activities that inspire L.L.Bean products. The new store will employ approximately 125 people.