U.S.-based outdoor specialty retailer L.L.Bean has announced that it will open five more Canadian stores this year as the company continues with its Canadian expansion into new markets. Each of the five stores will be firsts for the Moncton, Kitchener, Kingston, Edmonton and Niagara Falls regions.
The retailer says that it’s bullish on growth after seeing its most successful fiscal year in its 110-year history. That includes a 14% increase in revenue company-wide and 20% growth in online sales for L.L.Bean in Canada.
Toronto-based Jaytex Group has the exclusive license for L.L.Bean stores and wholesale distribution in Canada. Brokerage Oberfeld Snowcap represents L.L.Bean in Canada for its expansion under the direction of Andrew Laudenbach, who so far has negotiated leases for nine L.L.Bean locations in Canada that are already open as well as the five new locations opening in 2022 that will include the following:
- Moncton, New Brunswick at CF Champlain – Opening August 2022
- Kitchener, Ontario at The Boardwalk – Opening September 2022
- Kingston, Ontario at Cataraqui Centre – Opening October 2022
- Edmonton, Alberta – Opening Fall 2022
- Niagara Falls, Ontario – Opening Fall 2022
Each L.L.Bean will offer an assortment of men’s, women’s and kid’s active and casual apparel, outerwear, footwear, gear and equipment.
The Moncton location will be the second for L.L.Bean in the Canadian Maritimes, following the opening of a store last year at Dartmouth Crossing near Halifax. CF Champlain is considered to be the leading shopping centre for the region.
The Boardwalk in Kitchener is a big box centre, while the Cataraqui Centre in Kingston is a traditional enclosed shopping centre anchored by Hudson’s Bay. L.L.Bean will occupy part of the former Sears space at Cataraqui Centre according to a source.
The exact locations of the Edmonton and Niagara Falls L.L.Bean stores have yet to be released, and both will open later next fall.
L.L.Bean entered the Canadian market in 2018 with an online store and opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Oakville Ontario in August of 2019. At the time, plans were in place to eventually open about 20 stores across Canada. L.L. Bean currently has nine stores in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia.
Last year was a successful year for L.L.Bean in Canada. “In 2021, we successfully opened four L.L.Bean retail stores across Canada, expanding our reach into Victoria and Vancouver, Calgary, and Dartmouth, N.S. We have seen strong demand for our selection of outdoor footwear, apparel, equipment and gear, exemplifying Canadians’ love for the outdoors,” said Howie Kastner, president of Jaytex Group.
“The addition of five new locations will greatly help us reach markets where interest in L.L.Bean is already high, as demonstrated through strong e-commerce sales. We are excited to open in each of these communities and increase our ability to serve more customers in Canada.”
Charlie Bruder, L.L.Bean Vice President and General Manager of International and Wholesale, added, “We’re grateful to our Canadian customers who continue to look to L.L.Bean to outfit them for adventures of all kinds. As a heritage outdoor brand, our focus has always been to ensure our customers are equipped with durable, quality goods they can depend on for years to come. By joining more communities across Canada, we’ll ensure even more people are outfitted to experience the restorative power of time outside.”
Family-run L.L.Bean was founded by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1911 when he developed the brand’s flagship product, the Maine Hunting Shoe, which combines rubber bottoms with leather uppers to ensure one’s feet remained dry while hunting. L.L.Bean was officially founded in 1912 and has been in business for nearly 110 years.
The company’s original Maine flagship complex has been open since 1917, spanning 220,000 square feet and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Last year for the first time in its history and due to the pandemic, the flagship had been operating on reduced hours temporarily. The motivation behind L.L.Bean’s always-on hours was to accommodate visiting sportsmen who would drive all night and wanted an early start the following day.
In addition to the Maine flagship, L.L.Bean operates over 50 stores in the US and also has a multi-store presence in Japan.