NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   LL Bean, Freeport, Maine
LL Bean of Freeport ME has grown to be an internationally-renowned supplier of everything needed for outdoor (and some indoor) activities.
 
 

 

In 1912, Leon Leonwood Bean began selling his Maine hunting shoe at a shop in Freeport Center.

The shoe had a rubber-composite bottom to keep a hunter's foot dry, stitched to a leather upper to let the shoe "breathe" and not retain perspiration moisture.

Soon the LL Bean shop, stocked with a variety of backwoods equipment and supplies, became a must-stop for hunters and fishers on their way into the Maine woods.

In 1951 LL Bean decided to stay open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in order to accommodate all of its customers' travel schedules. You could leave work in New York or Boston on Friday evening, drive to Freeport, stock up at LL Bean at midnight, and continue into the forest to your campsite.

In the late 1900s, the business outgrew its original location and moved to a modern 200,000-square-foot (18,581-square-meter) department store (map). Other LL Bean product lines (boats, bikes, skis, home furnishings) were developed, a coffee shop/restaurant was opened, and today the LL Bean campus covers 7 acres (3 hectares), hosts 3 million visitors annually and, along with the catalog and online businesses, has revenue of nearly $1.5 billion.

A half dozen parking lots in Freeport (map), administered by Bean employees, fill up quickly every day with cars bearing license plates from all over America and Canada.

The large, attractive flagship store never closes: it is often mobbed during the day, and can be busy even at night.

Bean's reputation was built by selling sturdy, good-quality items at reasonable prices, and free shipping.

Bean's returns policy is absolute: if you find a Bean item unsatisfactory at any time, return it for a refund.

Should you stop at Bean's, remember that the store carries dozens of items for which there is no room in the catalog, and that there's also a factory store for end-of-season and distressed merchandise.

You should also know that Bean's will ship your packages home for you from the store for a reasonable charge so you don't have to cart them around on your travels if you don't want to.

Stop in so you can say, Bean there, done that.

LL Bean Inc.
95 Main Street
Freeport ME 04032-1217
Tel: 207-552-7772

—by Tom Brosnahan


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LL Bean Boot, Freeport ME

A gigantic Bean Boot in front of the
LL Bean store in Freeport ME.

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