March 28, 2018
The Boston Globe
Take a look inside the new L.L. Bean in Boston’s Seaport
The Bean boot has landed.
After several years of speculation and anticipation, Boston’s first L.L. Bean store will open in the One Seaport complex April 6 with a weekend-long celebration. But would-be customers were already pulling on the locked doors Tuesday as employees stocked shelves and steamed T-shirts ahead of the opening.
This is the first urban store for the 106-year-old brand, which has five locations in Greater Boston. And at 8,600 square feet, it’s far smaller than the other stores, said the company’s district manager, Kim Devanney. That means the store will limit its items to those that “speak to a Boston customer,” she said. To do that, the company will stock the same items regularly purchased through the catalogue that are shipped to Boston-area ZIP codes.
The resulting selection will represent a “town to trail” lifestyle that Boston Bean fans are known for, she said, and will reflect the needs of the burgeoning neighborhood. The proximity to the Boston Children’s Museum, for example, means the store will sell a selection of children’s hiking and outdoor gear, while regular dog walkers will find collapsible bowls and rubber bones for their furry family members. And conventioneers will be able to find duffle bags and totes.
The store will also have a limited selection of gear for car camping, hikes, backpacking, and day trips. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards will also be for sale.
The Seaport store will also have a robust program of Bean-sponsored events and activities, said Warren Mohn, the outdoor program and outreach coordinator. (Fun fact: Mohn grew up in Back Bay and used to fish for flounder off the bridges by Fort Point.)
There will be regular evening clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and other monthly outdoor programs including “walk and wag” tours of the Seaport, tent story times for kids, and clinics on boating safety, though Mohn says they are still determining when and where they might put in kayaks and other boats in the water.
“The store has a chance to be a center of outdoor education and experience,” Mohn said.
And of course there will be boots. The Seaport store will offer the brand’s first “Lace Bar,” allowing shoppers to customize their boot laces from an assortment of bright designs and colors. That is, if they can force themselves to break a bit from tradition.
“I was thinking about replacing my own laces,” said Devanney, who was sporting a pair of 40-year-old Bean boots as she gave a tour of the store. Her original laces were frayed but still intact. “I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”
By: Janelle Nanos