L.L.Bean has announced that it is expanding into Canada with a partnership with Toronto-based Jaytex Group. The company has launched a Canadian e-commerce site as well as wholesale distribution to 24 retailers (selected HBC stores, MEC & Sporting Life) and starting in 2019 opening branded L.L. Bean with plans to have 20 locations over the next decade.
“We’ve historically had an active and loyal customer base in Canada,” said Steve Smith, President and CEO of L.L.Bean. “Developing a true omnichannel presence that includes a wholesale component, as well as new brick and mortar retail stores and a dedicated Canadian website will give our Canadian customers a better overall L.L.Bean experience and make it much easier to shop in the channel that’s most conducive for them.”
Canada currently accounts for about 2 per cent of Bean’s annual sales; the company hopes to double that in three to four years, Smith said. L.L. Bean’s sales last year from all channels, domestic and international, were $1.6 billion.
L.L.Bean was founded by Leon Lemonwood Bean in 1912 in Freeport, Maine, where it continues to operate its flagship to this day. The company, which operates a network of stores in the United States as well as Japan, is best known for its ‘Bean Boot, which is a waterproof rubber boot with a leather upper. The company’s product lines include clothing for men and women as well as firearms, backpacks, and tents. In 2010, it launched a sub-brand called L.L.Bean Signature, which is a ‘modern interpretation’ of the brand with ‘modern fits’.
Source: Globe and Mail