L.L.Bean will be selling its branded products at Staples, Nordstrom and sporting-goods store Scheels. With the back-to-school season already underway, Staples has been selling L.L.Bean backpacks and water bottles for the past two weeks in more than 1,000 Staples stores and online, according to the Associated Press (AP).
While L.L.Bean remains committed to its e-Commerce, catalog and retail direct-to-consumer businesses, the retailer also sees an opportunity to grow by providing “new audiences, as well as our current customers, new ways to access our iconic apparel and footwear through third-party retail locations and online shops,” Amanda Hannah, L.L. Bean’s director of public relations, told Business Insider.
In the fall, six Scheels stores in the Midwest will offer L.L. Bean’s outdoor gear. The chain operates 29 stores in a dozen states. The 20 Nordstrom locations that will sell the brand will focus on footwear and apparel; the products also will be offered on the Nordstrom web site.
L.L. Bean also is expanding its own brick-and-mortar footprint north of the border, with plans to open an additional three stores in Canada. The retailer’s first Canadian location opened in August 2019, following the launch of L.L.Bean’s Canadian e-Commerce site in 2018. L.L.Bean also has distribution agreements with retailers Hudson’s Bay, Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Sporting Life.
The first of the three new Canadian locations celebrated its grand opening on July 10-12 in Barrie, Ontario. The second is scheduled to open in August in Ottawa, Ontario and the third will open in Toronto in the fall. “The positive response to our first store opening accelerated our expansion plan from two stores to three stores this year, despite the economic downturn,” said Greg Elder, VP of Retail and International for L.L.Bean in a statement.
“We’re extremely mindful of how and where we grow,” said Stephen Smith, L.L.Bean President and CEO in a statement. “We look forward to building on that relationship with our Canadian customers for years to come.”
Canada will be the second country outside the U.S. with L.L.Bean stores. The retailer entered the Japanese market in 1992 and now operates 27 locations there.