L.L. Bean Opening Store in China

We thought it was a big deal that L.L. Bean is expanding beyond the Northeast corridor this month with the recent opening its new store in South Barrington, IL. Turns out the outdoor gear and apparel merchant is opening the first of five stores in China on Sept. 27.

Bean’s stores in China—the first is in the Solana Mall in Beijing–will be operated through a joint venture with Youngone Corp. of Korea. The design of the 3,000 sq.-ft. Beijing location is inspired by the retailer’s flagship store in Freeport, ME.

“Throughout China there is a growing interest in participating in outdoor and recreational activities,” said L.L. Bean president/ CEO Chris McCormick in a statement. “This is an area we have been studying for some time as we’ve considered ways to expand our International presence and diversify our business. China provides many opportunities with their growing marketplace.”

Founded in 1912 as a catalog, $1.5 billion L.L. Bean operates 11 stores in the U.S. (plus it’s opening two new locations next month) and 15 stores in Japan. It opened the first Japanese store in Tokyo in 1992.