FREEPORT (AP) – L.L. Bean is ready to open the first of five stores in China this month.

The Beijing store in the Solana Mall in Beijing, which opens on Sept. 27, will be operated through a joint venture between the Maine outdoors outfitter and Youngone Corp. of Korea.

CEO Chris McCormick says he believes L.L. Bean’s store represents a natural fit because of a growing interest among the Chinese in the outdoors and outdoor activities. The 3,000-square-foot store will feature natural light and weathered timbers reminiscent of the company’s flagship store in Freeport.

L.L. Bean, which had $1.62 billion in sales in its last fiscal year, began as a mail order company 96 years ago but has been expanding its retail operations in recent years.

The China stores will represent its first international stores outside of Japan, where L.L. Bean has 15 stores.


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