Bean's Newest Green Store Takes Root at the Arboretum of South Barrington
Freeport, ME, August 25, 2008 – L.L.Bean, a leading retailer of quality outdoor gear and apparel, will open its first store in the Chicago area at the Arboretum of South Barrington, 9 a.m. on Friday, September 12. The much-anticipated store is the first L.L.Bean store to open in Illinois, and is one of two stores planned for the suburban Chicago area in 2008.
Chicagoans who love the outdoors are invited to the three-day grand opening celebration that promises fun and adventure for the whole family. When the doors open, L.L.Bean will give away gift cards – worth up to $500 – to the first 500 customers and signed Maine storybooks to the first 100 children. In the tradition of its flagship store in Freeport, Maine, the store will be open 24 hours a day during the Grand Opening weekend event. Late-night shoppers will be treated to free refreshments, live music and giveaways starting at 11 p.m. (while supplies last) on Friday and Saturday.
Expert instructors from L.L.Bean's Outdoor Discovery Schools® will offer free clinics, demonstrations and L.L.Bean's popular fly-casting Walk-On Adventures. Plus, join in on the fun GPS Techno Treasure Hunts. L.L.Bean's Walk-On Adventures program makes it easy for customers to try out a new activity. Normally $15, Walk-On Adventures are free throughout the Grand Opening weekend. Other free Grand Opening activities include birds of prey demonstrations from the Illinois Raptor Center, and hands-on activities with the Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago, Chicago Wilderness, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, Chicago Botanical Gardens, and the Chicago Zoological Society. There is also an opportunity to register to win a kayak package.
Bean's newest green store will employ approximately 125 people and offer a selection of high-quality outdoor gear and apparel including hiking, fly-fishing, kayaking, biking and camping products. The 30,000-square-foot store is built to US Green Building Council's LEED standards and is L.L.Bean's 7th LEED-built store. The store incorporates environmentally friendly building materials and fixtures and utilizes systems and technology to increase energy efficiency, thereby reducing the store's environmental footprint.
"L.L.Bean has a strong commitment to protecting and preserving outdoor spaces. Because of this commitment, it is important for the company to create a sustainable retail environment for our customers," said Ken Kacere, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Retail. "This is the first L.L.Bean store located outside the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic corridor and we are excited for this opportunity to bring a little piece of Freeport, Maine, to our devoted Chicago-area customers." L.L.Bean's South Barrington store offers a broad range of recreational products, hands-on opportunities with its Outdoor Discovery Schools, and a strong partnership with local conservation and recreational organizations that serve the surrounding communities.
In celebration of the new store and L.L.Bean's commitment to helping families enjoy the outdoors in their local communities, L.L.Bean will contribute $10,000 to the new South Barrington Conservancy to develop educational nature trails throughout the 35-acre, lightly wooded prairie and wetland area. In addition, L.L.Bean will donate the proceeds of its "Chairs for Charity" auction to the Conservancy. L.L.Bean is hosting this special auction during an invitation-only sneak preview reception at the store on Wednesday, September 10. L.L.Bean commissioned local artists, Sandie Bacon, Linda Doyle, Tyrue "Slang" Jones and Nino Rodriguez to customize the company's classic Adirondack Chairs using their own unique styles. The chairs will be on display throughout the Grand Opening weekend. Additionally, L.L.Bean will contribute $15,000 to Chicago Wilderness, a regional nature reserve, for programs aimed at connecting kids to nature and the outdoors.
Additional information about the L.L.Bean store at the Arboretum of South Barrington or the Grand Opening celebration is available at www.llbean.com/southbarrington.
The South Barrington store will be the company's first located in Illinois. Other L.L.Bean Retail Stores are located in McLean, Virginia; Columbia, Maryland; Marlton, New Jersey; West Lebanon, New Hampshire; Burlington and Mansfield, Massachusetts; Center Valley, Pennsylvania; Albany, New York; South Windsor, Connecticut and Freeport, Maine, the site of L.L.Bean's original Flagship Store, Hunting and Fishing Store and Bike, Boat and Ski Store.