L.L. Bean continues retail expansion, opening Kansas store

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PORTLAND — L.L. Bean plans to open a store outside of Kansas City, Kansas, later this year, marking the retailer’s 26th bricks-and-mortar store outside Maine and the latest in a series of expansion announcements.

The company this year has announced expansions to Richmond, Va., Cleveland, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio, and this week announced the expansion to the Town Center Crossing outdoor shopping mall in Leawood, a suburb of Kansas City.

The company last year opened three new locations, including its westernmost location outside of Denver, Colo. The company has opened new bricks-and-mortar stores as a complement to its online and catalog shopping, with the goal of being an “omnichannel” retailer.

“What we’re trying to do is make it easier for people to buy what they want and when they want it in the channel that’s optimal for them,” spokesman Mac McKeever said about the company’s strategy after the October announcement of the Denver location.

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That includes people who might shop in a store but make a final purchase online.

CEO Chris McCormick said in a memo to employees in March that the retailer plans to have at least 100 full stores around the country by 2020, an expansion that would more than double the size of the company’s workforce across the country.

The company estimates the Kansas City store will employ about 100 people.

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