Since its founding in 1912, L.L. Bean has made changes over the years to expand from its catalog sales roots and flagship Freeport, Maine store that, pre-COVID, was open 24 hours per day. Then, in what was looked upon as a bold move, Bean began opening non-outlet, brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.
Now Bean’s latest venture will find selected merchandise in Nordstrom, Staples, and SCHEELS. Even though the pandemic will continue to be a drag on in-store sales, it’s worth a try for merchants to offer some of Bean’s merchandise in order to attract a wider array of customer foot traffic.
The following MetroWest Daily News article reports more on the topic:
L.L. Bean is expanding from its original model of direct-to-customer catalog sales and in-stores sales with an agreement to sell products in Nordstrom, Staples and sporting goods chain SCHEELS.
The company’s first wholesale agreements in the United States represent a push to get L.L. Bean products in front of more consumers.
The Maine-based retailer believes its products are underrepresented in the marketplace and that there’s an opportunity to expand while other retailers contract, said Charlie Bruder, vice president for merchandising.
The first phase started with L.L. Bean backpacks and water bottles that went on sale in more than 1,000 Staples stores two weeks ago. The business products retailer is a leader for back-to-school shopping.
In the fall, L.L. Bean gear will be sold in a half-dozen SCHEELS stores in the Midwest and in 20 Nordstrom stores across the United States. Nordstrom will offer classics such as the famous Bean Boot, fleece and flannel, both in the stores and online.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group