For 108 years, L.L. Bean has been focused on its direct-to-consumer retail and catalog business in the U.S. Now the iconic Maine company is broadening its reach.
L.L. Bean has inked three wholesale deals in the U.S. market — and will notably sell its famous Bean boots and more in Nordstrom starting this fall, and in time for the holiday season.
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Twenty Nordstrom stores across the country will stock the duck boots as well as L.L. Bean’s outwear, fleece and flannel styles. The brand will also be sold on the department store’s website, which generated 33% of overall sales for the Seattle-based company last year. L.L. Bean, like Nordstrom, is family business that takes pride in its rich history and reputation for strong customer service.
In addition, L.L. Bean is selling its classic backpacks and accessories in Staples stores, and is also teaming up with Scheels, the Midwestern sporting goods retailer, on an assortment of essential styles.
Together, the three partnerships will place L.L.Bean products in an additional 1,200-plus stores as well as the three respective online channels.
“We have been working with these amazing partners for more than a year, and we are excited to be able to finally announce the next phase of our omnichannel growth strategy,” said Stephen Smith, L.L.Bean president and CEO in a statement. “As a 108-year old retailer, we believe in the longevity and strength of the industry while also recognizing that the way customers shop and interact with brands will continue to shift and evolve quickly.”
The brand operates 54 retail locations, primarily across the New England and Atlantic regions — so the wholesale moves will allow it to reach new consumers in the West, where Nordstrom dominates, and the Midwest where Scheels is based.
“Wholesale partnerships are about who you trust with your customers,” said Shawn Gorman, executive chairman and great grandson of L.L.Bean. “We are proud to partner with these longstanding brands — two of which are family-run, and all three [with] combined share 350 years of outstanding service and experience in retail.”
It’s been a buzzy year for L.L Bean, which appeared on the New York Fashion Week runway in February when it collaborated with menswear designer Todd Snyder.
The label’s duck boots have transcended trends — remaining a tried-and-true footwear purchase for generations of L.L. Bean fans.