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Updated: July 1, 2024

LLBean steps up its out-of-state expansion plans

LL Bean store exterior in Freeport Photo / Renee Cordes L.L.Bean, headquartered in Freeport, is expanding its out-of-state retail presence.

Freeport-based L.L.Bean is on an out-of-state expansion tear.

After opening a retail store in Ulster County (Kingston), N.Y., this May, the company is planning to open locations during the fall in Mechanicsburg, Pa.; Enfield, Conn.; and Indianapolis.

Currently, the maker and seller of outdoor gear and apparel has 57 stores in the U.S., spread across 19 states.

With more than 25,000 customers in Ulster so far, the new store has already exceeded sales projections amid high demand for summer products, according to the company.

"Our four 2024 store openings represent a significant step forward in our commitment to making L.L.Bean's exceptional outdoor gear, apparel and footwear accessible to a broader audience,” said Greg Elder, L.L.Bean’s chief retail officer, in a June 25 news release.

"As we continue to expand our retail footprint beyond New England, we are eager to strengthen our connection with customers and communities across the country, enabling more people to experience the restorative power of time outside."

Details on hiring plans at the new stores were not immediately available.

The company, led by CEO Stephen Smith, says it's pursuing a growth strategy encompassing brick-and-mortar retail, wholesale partnerships and online sales.

In March, L.L.Bean posted a decline in annual sales, from $1.8 billion in 2022 to $1.7 billion last year. The company also announced that its annual bonus for employees would be smaller.

'Sustained growth'

L.L.Bean is planning additional retail expansion in 2025, targeting the Southeast and Midwest, amid a $50 million revamp of its Freeport flagship campus.

"As we continue to increase our retail presence in 2024, we're strategically positioning L.L.Bean for sustained growth, ensuring that we continue to reach more customers in more geographies,” Smith said.

“This expansion plan will not only strengthen our national footprint, but it is also a pivotal step in reinforcing L.L.Bean's position as a leader in the retail space and outdoor industry."

In addition to its U.S. stores, the family-owned company — whose roots go back to 1912 — operates 22 stores in Japan and 13 stores in Canada through a partnership with Toronto-based Jaytex Group

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