The chain, which sells a broad assortment of men’s and women’s outer and active wear as well outdoor gear like camping and fishing equipment, has been rolling out retail outlets across the country.
The chain has two stores in Ohio, the closest in Cleveland.
But this expansion comes after almost a century of the store being almost strictly mail order business with its single bricks and mortar outlet its flagship headquarters, a 220,000 sq. ft. store, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in Freeport Maine.
The Mall of Partridge Creek is the Detroit area’s newest mall and differs form other shopping malls in that it is not enclosed but has outdoor walkways.
“we are making it as easy as possible for our customers to shop with LL Bean in the medium that’s most conducive for them,” McKeever said.
The new outlet also bucks the trend where physical stores are closing while people shop more online.
But that’s testament to the kind of merchandise LL Bean stocks, often very tactile and which traditionally could only be seen in a catalogue or online.
“We find that people will go into a retail store, maybe to see something, try it on, feel it, looking at it,” McKeever said. “They appreciate having that 3-D experience.”
Another reason for the continual store openings is simply keeping the brand in people’s eyes.
“One of the things that opening these stores enable us to do is kind of perpetuate the brand,” McKeever said.
“A lot of people only know us through the catalogue and the web.”
McKeever said that despite the fact Canada provides LL Bean with a “wonderful customer base,” the retailer has no plans to open any such outlets north of the border.
Photo shows LL Bean's flagship store in Maine