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L.L.Bean Unveils Larger-than-Life Version of Its Most Iconic Product

The "L.L.Bean Bootmobile" Hits the Road in Celebration of 100 Years in the Outdoors

Freeport, ME, January 17, 2012 – As the launch of its 100th anniversary celebration draws near, outdoor retailer L.L.Bean debuted the “L.L.Bean Bootmobile” – a larger-than-life embodiment of its most iconic product. The 13-foot high and 20-foot long vehicle was revealed to employees at the Brunswick, Maine, manufacturing facility where the popular Bean boots are made, stopping at the L.L.Bean flagship store in Freeport before traveling to New York City.

The Bootmobile will appear in Times Square on Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. and will embark on a tour of major cities in the US later this year. Throughout 2012, the Bootmobile will surprise people in various locations throughout the country, inspiring them to get outside, and providing an opportunity to try a new outdoor activity with the help of L.L.Bean’s expert Outdoor Discovery Schools® guides.

“Our company founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, was an avid outdoorsman who believed that time spent in the outdoors added value to one’s life,” said L.L.Bean CEO Chris McCormick. “In recognition of our 100th, we are looking to share his passion and reignite America’s love of the outdoors. Today’s kickoff is just the beginning of many outdoor adventures to come in our anniversary year.”

100 years ago, Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean founded his company with a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. Having returned from a hunting trip with cold, wet feet, he had a revolutionary idea for a boot design. This innovative “Bean Boot” changed outdoor footwear forever and began one of the most successful family-run businesses in the country. The success of the company is due in part to L.L.Bean’s legendary quality guarantee, which began with L.L.’s first product. Of the first 100 boots he created, 92 were defective and he refunded each customer their money. From there, he went back to the drawing board and re-engineered his boot, which has since stood the test of time and become the company’s most popular product.

Today, as always, L.L.Bean Boots are manufactured by hand in Maine. In honor of its 100th anniversary, L.L.Bean will re-introduce a special-edition version of the Maine Hunting Shoe. Designed to closely replicate the very first pair built by L.L., they even feature the red brick-colored bottom found on the original pair.

The newly unveiled Bootmobile is also true in likeness to the original L.L.Bean Boot, yet sports a tan rubber sole found on contemporary versions. The Bootmobile is true to scale, 20.5 times larger than a traditional 12" tall boot. A few fun facts about the Bootmobile:

  • If the Bootmobile was an actual boot, it would be size 747
  • The Bootmobile is 13' tall, 20'6" long and 7'6" wide
  • The Bootmobile generates 0% CO2 emissions thanks to a diesel engine with urea tank and particulate filter
  • If an actual person were to wear the Bootmobile, the person would be 143' tall 32' taller than the Statue of Liberty
  • The Bootmobile laces are made of 12-strand braided mooring rope, capable of towing 106,000 lb.
  • The driver enters and exits through the heel
  • A camera provides visibility for the rear and top of the Bootmobile

For more information on L.L.Bean’s 100th anniversary activities, and ways to get involved, visit www.llbean.com. Photos and video of the Bootmobile are available in the L.L.Bean 100th anniversary newsroom and Facebook page.

About L.L.Bean, Inc.

L.L.Bean, Inc., is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 200,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, L.L.Bean FacebookL.L.Bean Twitter and L.L.Bean YouTube.

Contact Information

For more information on L.L.Bean news items or to arrange an interview with one of our experts (topics range from outdoors to business), contact L.L.Bean Public Affairs at publicaffairs@llbean.com or 207-552-6072.