April 6, 2018
See inside L.L. Bean’s first ‘urban’ store in Boston Seaport
When it came to setting up its first retail store in a major city, L.L. Bean says the decision was obvious. The state of Maine and the capital of Massachusetts are, as one executive put it, “kindred spirits.”
And so this weekend, on April 6, L.L. Bean will formally open its first-ever “urban” shop, a nearly 9,000-square-foot store at the One Seaport complex in Boston. The new Seaport space is small in comparison to other L.L. Bean retail locations, including the four other stores in Massachusetts.
The outdoors company is the latest major retailer to open up shop in the budding mixed-use area along Seaport Boulevard. WS Development took on the store after developing neighboring sites like Kings, ICON Theatre, 75 on Courthouse Square, Lululemon and others.
“The vitality of this neighborhood is just unbelievable,” said Greg Elder, L.L. Bean’s Vice President of Stores. “We know that we have a lot of customers and a lot of loyalty in Massachusetts.”
Despite a recent round of employee buyouts after several years of declining sales, the company is continuing to experiment with new business operations like the urban store in Boston. Other smaller L.L. Bean stores are being introduced to Yale University and a resort in Park City, Utah.
Kim Devanney, L.L. Bean’s Massachusetts and New Hampshire District Manager, said the company has grown tremendously since she began working for it a decade ago. When Devanney first started, there were only five L.L. Bean stores outside of Maine; now there are 38 stores across 17 states.
By: Kristin LaFratta