L.L Bean will open its 22nd American retail store outside of Maine at Park Meadows Shopping Center (in the former home of Grand Lux Cafe) on Friday, November 21. The company was founded by avid outdoorsman Leon Leonwood ("L.L."), who in 1912 returned home from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and a new idea for boots.
L.L. Bean has planned a three-day, grand-opening celebration that will run through Sunday; events will include giveaways, seminars, a variety of family activities, and the L.L.Bean's famous Bootmobile. Doors will open at 9 a.m. Friday, and the first 200 customers will get free gift cards worth up to $500.
"Our westernmost store is going to give folks in the Denver area and beyond, many of whom are only familiar with us through our catalog and website, the ability to touch, see and feel the true essence of our brand in person, just in time for the holiday season," says Ken Kacere, senior vice-president and general manager of retail at L.L.Bean. During the grand opening, L.L.Bean will also announce a donation of $15,000 to Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK); L.L. Bean will also establish an ELK scholarship to get more Denver-area kids engaged in outdoor recreation.
And in the meantime, we did our own scholarly research into the store. Here are ten things we didn't know about L.L. Bean!
2) Baseball legend Ted Williams once tried to buy L.L.Bean.
3) Since the mid-'50s, the Flagship Store in Freeport, Maine has been open 24/7 365 days a year; there are no locks on the doors.
4) Over the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship.
5) Last year over 100,000 people participated in L.L. Bean's Outdoor Discovery Schools.
6) L.L.Bean is still family-owned and -operated.
7) L.L.Bean has 19 stores in Japan and 53 stores in China.
8) In 2009, Internet orders surpassed catalog orders for the first time
9) The Park Meadows store will be LEED Certified
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10) In 2013, L.L. Bean's annual net sales were $1.56 billion.