Celebrate 100 Years with L.L.Bean

A Note from Chris McCormick
President and CEO, L.L.Bean, Inc.


Chris McCormick

As we begin our 100th year anniversary, I’m honored to kick off the company’s first official blog.


L.L.Bean enthusiasts know that our company founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, believed that time spent in the outdoors added value to one’s life.  A century later we still believe this sentiment to be true.


L.L.’s grandson and current Chairman, Leon Gorman, followed in his grandfather’s footsteps of encouraging customers and employees to enjoy the great outdoors.  He also expanded L.L.Bean’s commitment to the outdoors by making land preservation and outdoor stewardship the cornerstone of the company’s philanthropic efforts when he became President of L.L.Bean back in 1967.


Whether it’s stepping into your backyard for the first snowfall, summiting a mountain, walking the dog or crisscrossing the trails of your local park, there are endless ways to experience the world outside your front door.


Over the years we’ve collected stories about that outdoor spirit from our customers, employees and outdoor enthusiasts, alike. In honor of our celebration, this blog will share our stories and yours to inspire more outdoor moments and encourage you to discover the outdoors in brand new ways. We’ll also provide updates and highlights of our Anniversary activities so that you, too, can join in the celebration.


We welcome your comments and suggestions and encourage you to share your outdoor experiences. You’re invited to join us throughout the year as we all celebrate L.L.Bean’s 100 years of outdoor adventure.



Chris McCormick

Comments (25)

  1. Kathy B | January 17, 2012 | 3:59 pm

    HAPPY 100TH Anniversary L.L. Bean. A company I trust and rely on for many of my outdoor needs. You have fantastic customer service and that’s what makes your company tops in the business. Thank you so much and here’s to another 100 years.

  2. mary w hurdle | January 17, 2012 | 11:00 pm

    I feel like I am a walking advertisement for LL Bean. Every thing I like to wear and am most comfortable in comes from LL Bean. Wish I could come to see your store. Although our climates are different, our taste are the same, comfortable, fashionable, and durable in any climate.

  3. Schales L. Atkinson | January 18, 2012 | 10:01 am

    Atkinson, SchalesL; I have always appreciated the quality of your products. I had the great experience of visiting your store about 20 years ago. I am looking forward to a repeat visit in the future. I wish more people in the U.S. could afford your products. Congratulations on your 100th anniversary.

  4. Joni | January 19, 2012 | 10:01 am

    Love the L.L.Bean Signature Collection….it’s about time you come up with a more stylish look with the practical basis…..! Can’t wait for each new “old” collection!

  5. Sandra H | January 19, 2012 | 12:02 pm

    I too am an L.L. Bean poster child. Quality and comfort with an emphasis on an active, outdoor lifestyle makes your products the best available. We visit Maine most summers and there is no way I would drive past Freeport without a stop to your flagship store. Your outlet stores make your products affordable to everyone- we sure miss the one in Rehobeth, DE! But I look forward to where we will find your stores in the next 100 years. I have looked forward to 2012 because I knew it was L.L. Beans 100 year anniversary- we should all enjoy!

  6. Edward Veaudry | January 19, 2012 | 12:53 pm

    I was introduced to LL Bean 35 years ago. I remember the very first item I purchased from you. It was an Irish Walking Hat. That hat lasted for years and I would still have it, except that I misplaced it a number some 10 years ago.
    Since that day, I have purchased almost my entire casual wardrobe for Bean. Like another comment, I too am a walking advertisement for the company.
    My wife is from Maine. Every time we go up, I get the opportunity to visit your headquarters. We don’t get up there s often as we like, but I do have an outlet store less than 2 miles away from where we live. Many hours are spent cruising the racks wondering want neat things may jump out at me, whether it’s fishing equipment, other outdoor products or clothing. I often thought I should get a part-time job at the outlet store, but I realize I would never take a paycheck home. It would be reinvested into the store.
    You guy are awesome. I have never had a bad experience shopping directly or on the phone.

  7. Holly Deshane | January 19, 2012 | 2:55 pm

    Happy Anniversary to the greatest sporting goods store in the world!!

  8. Linda Cummings | January 19, 2012 | 2:59 pm

    I was taken to your store from Cape Cod 25 years ago. It was a first date. Although we stopped dating many, many years ago, I continue to purchase LL Bean products. From your jeans to your flannel nighties; from your comfortable walking shoes to my favorite fishing hat ; from your warm mocassins to your excellant coats, I have spent my life in LL Bean products. I’ve even converted my husband! They may cost a little more, but they last forever, and no one can beat your customer service. Happy Anniversary from someone who will be shoppin Bean forever.

  9. Annette | January 19, 2012 | 4:14 pm

    Congrats on your 100th anniversary! I love LLBean–my closet is full of your clothes! Keep up the good work!

  10. Cheryl Verheeck | January 19, 2012 | 8:09 pm

    Happy 100th Anniversary!!! My family has been in love with your company for over 40 of those years. I’m still wearing a red boiled wool sweater that is at least that age and still looks great! One of our favorite photos is our yellow lab as a puppie playing with LLBean boots. Can’t beat your customer service and your ‘stand by our products’ motto. Here’s to 100 more successful years! Cheryl in New Jersey

  11. Jane | January 20, 2012 | 4:39 pm

    100 Years – – how awesome is that! My first visit to your flagship store was 30 years ago. My husband and I were on our honeymoon trip, passing through Freeport on our way to Acadia National park. It was a beautiful sunny but cool September day, so I bought a light-weight off-white cotton sweater to wear while hiking the hilly trails in the park. I used it for biking the carriage trails too. We feel in love with Maine and all it’s beauty as much as we were in love with each other… 30 years later I think I still have that sweater and thanks to all the hiking and outdoor activities we do, tho’ it’s a little snug (ok down right tight), I can still “wear” it ( put it on anyway ;-)). It has fond memories knit into it’s very fibers.

    We ended up moving to Freeport Maine years later, but that’s another story :)

  12. Sid Hardwicke | January 20, 2012 | 10:32 pm

    WOW! 100 years but whose’s counting. That’s a lot of candles to blow out at that age … well … at any age. Thank you for your legendary products, quality customer service, great value, a lifetime guarantee and now FREE SHIPPING! It just doesn’t get any better or more American than Leon Leonwood Bean’s place in Freeport, Maine. Where else can one purchase life’s 4 basic essentials: food, clothing, housing and fly fishing gear all under one roof and at value prices.

    From the early 1970’s our family has enjoyed your family’s products. The first was LL Bean Jeans (there’s a catchy ring to that don’t you think) and this week two 100th Anniversary blue canoe totes. In between, we had a great trip to “tha” store. Another check off my bucket list. Cheer’s to another 100 years. Happy Anniversary and best wishes for a prosperous future!

  13. CJ Farrar | January 21, 2012 | 7:05 pm

    I am looking forward to seeing all of the wonderful things you have planned for your Anniversary.

  14. Mary U. | January 22, 2012 | 10:49 am

    LL Bean: Happy 100th Anniversary! It’s the name that means quality merchandise, every time. It would be awesome to visit your store and see the Bootmobile. Loyal customer forever.

  15. John M. | January 22, 2012 | 4:29 pm

    Quality and commitment to customers – these are the key themes when I think of Bean’s.

    Even 40 years ago at age 17 I associated quality with Bean’s products. The boots (original hunting boots) and green chamois shirt were high quality, utilitarian yet high status items for teenage boys in the Northeast. I’ll never forget my my first visit to Mecca – college interview at Bowdoin and obligatory stop in Freeport and the single structure, 2 floor LL Bean’s store where the canoes were on display out front – stood up vertically, leaning against the top floor balcony (I believe it was a balcony!). Us boys were so excited to be there, see the actual store, and hunt for “seconds” at a discounted price!

    A simple, single building loaded with all the outdoor gear a guy could ever dream of. Times have changed and even though Bean’s created and dominates a destination known as “Freeport”, the Quality and Customer Commitment are still there. In my humble opinion, Bean’s (and Freeport) has done a fantastic job of creating a first rate model of how to build a successful retail destination whilst retaining as much small town, local feel as possible.

    I live in California now, but love talking to the customer service reps on the phone so that I can hear the Maine accent :-) and encounter that awesome customer attitude!

    Thank you for the fact that you have kept your focus on quality (and excellent pricing) and have not sold out like so many other American retailers. Thank you for employing so many Americans, and for offering highest quality, American made products. You deserve the success you have earned over the past 100 years. Happy Birthday, and here’s to the next 100 years!

  16. DianeC | January 23, 2012 | 8:28 am

    Almost everything I wear is L.L.Bean. Today its your Bayside Stretch Cords, Heathered Flannel Shirt and Rugged Ridge Parka. I have brought my lunch to work in an LLBean mini tote bag, and also have with me an LLBean Expedition Guide Bag which carries my LLBean Trail Model Rain Pants (invaluable as the rain was torrential this morning) and an LLBeam Ticket Organiser for my works ID and the key to my desk drawer. I have a spare bedroom and it is full of LLBean rucksacks, shoulder bags, shirts, trousers, coats, t-shirts and so on. I am covered for every kind of weather from -50 degrees with my Baxter State Parka to my light weight Bayside twills. Everything just lasts for ever and looks so good even after repeated use. It is also versatile, for days just lazing around, or days trips out to a day in the office. I feel lost if I am not wearing any LLBean. I found you by chance some 12 years ago and have been a regular shopper ever since. As a company it feels like you read my mind in terms of what I want to wear and use. Happy 100th Anniversary. When all else around you slavishly follow shurt-term fashion trends, you continue to remind me of what Sherlock Holmes said of Dr Watson, “You are the one fixed point in a changing age.” Long may you continue to pilot your own course.

  17. Gerry Fogarty | January 29, 2012 | 9:54 am

    I am so proud to be a part of this company,. Thank you for that opportunity. Gerry LL Bean, Albany, NY

  18. Robinsons | January 31, 2012 | 12:10 pm

    I begged my dad for an LL Bean back pack when I was in highschool (some 25+ years ago). It was green, and it lasted all through high school, and all through university. Back then, there wasn’t free shipping, so we would make the treck from New Brunswick Canada to the LL Bean store in Freeport once a year and stock up. Those trips were awesome. I remember getting a pair of blucher mocs and the kind employee suggested I try a boys’ size (fit better, and I saved money). I wore those for years and they were the most comfortable shoes. Over the years, I have bought coats, rain gear, sheets, clothes, camping gear, duvets .. whatever I can buy at LL Bean (instead of elsewhere) I will buy. It lasts longer, it’s better quality, and I just like shopping with you. Your customer service is amazing, and if I’m going to spend the money, that’s important to me (to have friendly folk to take my calls). Now I have three kids, and I’m buying snow tubes and walkie talkies for them – and fire pits, and .. well I can’t wait seeing what “new” items become available. We’re even buying furniture, because funnily enough, it’s reasonable and better made (by far) than what we can buy locally – even with duties and taxes (and shipping additional charges) thrown in. For me LL Bean is part of my growing up years – I remember my Nowegian sweater, my Tretorns I could only find at Bean… But mostly, I just like shopping with you. It’s a lovely atmosphere in the store, and even by catalogue or web. It’s easy, and I know I will be taken care of – then I can’t wait for my parcels to arrive. Just yesterday a Purolator van drove up my drive, and I received my book from LL Bean thanking me for being a loyal customer. What a nice surprise – I’ve enjoyed thumbing through it :) Thanks LL Bean – your clothes, gear, furniture, decor, stuff for kids … all surpasses our expectations and we’ve gotten our money’s worth and more. Wish we could visit you more often but it’s quite a hike from Nova Scotia :)

  19. Paula Kukich | February 3, 2012 | 1:28 am

    I find your products of good quality and customer service of excellent quality. I would like to see more American made apparel in your product line. I feel if we buy American rather than import, we will remain a stronger country. Foreign countries have different size equivalents that often do not relate to American sizes, and quality of fabric density can be an issue in women’s blouses.
    I would like to see a store in Central New Jersey as there is an Eddie Bauer store in Shrewsbury,NJ but I don’t feel the quality is the equal to yours. I would like to see additional daily markdowns when they are sold out quickly in the day so that you have a second choice on clothing or home items. In a difficult economy, you have survived throughout the years. Good promotional pricing is key to the functioning of the country’s economy.

  20. ericvanheertum | February 7, 2012 | 5:02 am

    Congratulation for your 100 years . We are living in Belgium and we are a really LLBEAN family . Each time your catalogs hit our home it’s like a battle to know who would be able to read it first. When we need clothes or gear , we don’t look anymore in shops in Europe ( did you hear about the prices of things here ??) , my wife and I and our two kids ( boy 11 and girl 9) just check in your catalog. Then , we order and when the package arrive , it’s like christmas day. We are really glad to receive from time to time a little piece of America in our home.
    Sadly, we don’t order anymore because of the import taxes in Europe. Three years ago , we had the bad surprise to order for 250 dollars and I had to pay 250 euros taxes to get my package. That is a bit expensive !!
    But as we go every year in the US , we just wait to be there and shop in one of your retail store. So we are still faitfull LLBEAN customers.
    Keep on your good work and thank you for your wonderful products.


  21. Jim & Joyce | February 17, 2012 | 11:28 am

    Dear Chris and Leon, we are loyal LLBean customers, and we were happy to receive catalogs noting the 100th year anniversary of your family-owned company.  Our daughter (12 years old) is a Girl Scout, and coincidently, Girl Scouts of America is celebrating 100 years too!   We think that the premier purveyor of clothing and supplies for outdoor adventures might want to find an opportunity to celebrate with and/or acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the premier organization that fosters independence and trains and inspires girls to become confident women in the outdoors.

  22. Will & Anne | March 5, 2012 | 9:38 am

    Yes, I’m a walking ad for LL Bean, too. I’ll be talking to someone from “away” about LL Bean, then look down and realize that 90% of what I’m wearing is Bean’s clothing.

    But for us, the classic piece is the Baxter State Parka. We saved up to buy ours and have fond memories of several decades of comfortable winter hikes and walks wearing them. This coat creates an entirely new perspective about spending time outside in Winter. Imagine how free it feels to not worry about being cold, even when the chill factor gets down around zero–bring it on! Pull up the hood and enjoy the scenery!

    When we hear complaints about the winters in Maine, it’s usually from someone who has not invested in a good winter parka. The hi-tech insulations are fine, but there’s still a lot to be said for goose down. Don’t stop selling the Baxter!

  23. Maynard | March 20, 2012 | 10:48 am

    another walking advertisement here in California-everything I own, that I really like is LL Bean-just stocked up on mock turtlenecks. My boots are over 30 years old but low mileage, I still depend on them for the infrequent wet weather! Interesting comment re: Girl Scouts-walk a mile for a box of cookies?

  24. ronda cogan | February 17, 2013 | 11:33 am

    I have a ll bean hunting coat that was my great great grandfather , early 1900s still in very nice condition have pictures love to share with company.

  25. Kay Kaminga | November 21, 2013 | 5:22 pm

    I think this is the perfect place to tell you about my LL Bean coat. I am not sure what it was called, possibly a long barn coat. It is a calf length women’s coat with double slit pockets (two pockets on each side. One on each side zips up.). It has a plaid wool zip out lining and a heavy duty canvas type outer shell with a slit up the back. The lining sleeves are nylon with Thinsulate. There are suede cuffs, collar, and pocket edges. The snaps are labeled LL Bean. It came in 2 or 3 colors. I choose a gold with brown, orange, beige, and gray lining.

    The only potentially identifying label, other than the LL Bean label, says HN 72. The outer shell is washable, it has been washed many times. Other than a bit of wear on the suede it is in great shape.

    I bought it about 20 years ago. It was my everyday winter coat for years. I put it away and then began to wear it to soccer games. It is warm and rain resistant making it perfect for early spring and late fall soccer.

    This fall I began to wear it to work. I receive many compliments on this old coat every day. Most folks, guys and gals, want to know where they can get one. I think you could sell a lot of these if you re-issued it.

    When I bought this coat it was a budget stretch. Now it is an amazing bargain. 100 years of quality clothing – that is an accomplishment!

    Thanks, Sincerely

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