Don’t you just love this cartoon which I saw in The New Yorker earlier this year? It really sums up the last full day of our holidays this year. We stayed at a rather smart hotel in Portland, Maine for the final two nights and spent the afternoon at one of our favourite stores. It’s an amazing place and this was our third visit.
To make sure you don’t forget anything
About a twenty minute drive north of Portland is the town of Freeport. And Freeport is the home of LLBean. In fact Freeport is given over almost entirely to shopping (there are many outlet and other stores) with some hotels and restaurants thrown in. I suppose some people live there but you wouldn’t notice.
The Flagship Store : we visited on 11 September 2009 (hence the flag at half-mast)
The Main Entrance
“L.L.Bean, Inc. has been a trusted source for quality apparel, reliable outdoor equipment and expert advice for over 100 years. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as one-man operation. With L. L.’s firm belief in keeping customers satisfied as a guiding principle, the company eventually grew to a global organization with annual sales of $1.56 billion. Our company headquarters are in Freeport, Maine, just down the road from our original store.
With over a century in business, a satisfied customer is still our most important goal. We’re proud of our heritage and values, and we invite you to celebrate with exciting events and activities throughout the year. In the meantime, you’re welcome to browse the stories, facts and figures in this section and learn more about our company, our heritage and our history.” [From the website]
LLBean never closes! There are no locks on the doors and it’s even open on Christmas Day. However, although all of this sounds like a gimmick the goods are all excellent quality and, with the current exchange rate, reasonably priced. I came away with a couple of pairs of walking trousers (trail pants) and another fleece (I have bought four of these altogether on different visits). In the past I have bought a tote bag, waterproof over trousers, other casual trousers etc all of which are still in use.
But the main store is not just of interest to me as shopper. There’s also lots of history : how they enjoyed the outdoor life in the past and how it’s all come a long way since!
Fly Fishing Artefacts
One of LL’s early camps “The Dew Drop Inn”
The Nearest I came to a Bear!