Announced in 2021, U.S. based outdoor specialty retailer L.L.Bean officially opened its Edmonton store in West Edmonton Mall earlier this month. Located in Phase II of the mall, L.L.Bean takes over the space formerly occupied by International Clothiers which has relocated to a smaller footprint in Phase I. The new L.L. Bean joins current neighbouring retailers Urban Planet spanning 16,017 square feet and Miniso spanning 3,905 square feet.
The Edmonton L.L.Bean store marks the twelfth store in Canada and second store for the retailer in Alberta. The Edmonton store carries all of the signature L.L.Bean product categories including Men’s, Women’s & Kid’s Apparel with an expanded Outerwear and Fleece, Active Apparel departments, Footwear, Travel, Home Accessories, Camping, Hiking & Backpacking, Pet Supplies and L.L.Bean Signature Collection.
Currently the store footprint is an expanded l-shaped layout encompassing 20,000 square feet. The store will grow to 25,000 square feet in spring 2023 with the current neighbour, Miniso, being slated to be relocated to another location within the mall. This will allow L.L.Bean to expand its mall frontage to mirror the same frontage as neighbouring Urban Planet. This will add an increase in the mall frontage to 60 feet from the current 30 feet and add approximately 5,000 square feet in floor space for additional men’s and women’s fashion categories as well adding increased sight-lines within the expanded L.L. Bean space.
We navigated the store with Shirel Shayo, Director of Retail, L.L.Bean Canada, Jaytex Group, and Olivia Daechsel, Marketing Coordinator, Jaytex Group. Starting at the mall entrance is the Active Apparel department which leads all the way down the corridor. Hero products in this section include the Airlight knits and fleece. The merchandising strategy focuses on using symmetry to showcase products.
On the right side of the store is women’s product with men’s product on the left side. Similar products based on style and fabric are merchandised together and mirrored on the opposite side to allow shoppers of all genders to find similar products in the same space. Further down the corridor is the Outerwear Department which is a signature L.L.Bean category including the 850 power down-fill jackets in a variety of prints and colours.
Turning right we entered the main space of the store which contains the Men’s and Women’s Clothing Departments. There is a Flannel Shirt Department that is stocked with L.L Bean’s Scotch Plaid flannel shirts made with high-quality Portuguese cotton flannel and signature plaid patterns. There is also a variety of clothing basics including polos, t-shirts and bottoms. For the winter season, there is a focus on sweaters made from a variety of materials including cotton, lambswool and cashmere. There is also a Kid’s Clothing department that stocks sizes from toddler to 18 allowing the entire family to be outfitted.
The focal point of this space is the Footwear department. There is a footwear wall that stocks all of the L.L.Bean footwear favourites including the Bean Boots and Wicked Good Slippers. There is also a selection of third party footwear brands including Keen and Oboz. To help shoppers personalize their footwear, there is a “Make Them Your Own” station. This personalization station allows shoppers to choose from a variety of different shoelaces to give their new footwear their own personality.
Turning left, we entered the Home Goods Department which is stocked with bedding, bath, rugs and mats and home décor. There is also a pet section to allow the pets to be outfitted as well.
Rounding out the store tour is the Outdoor Equipment and Bags and Travel Departments. There is a selection of camping equipment and for winter a selection of snowshoes, sleds and snow tubes perfect for Edmonton winters.
The store also features its own exterior entrance that was the original relic from the Bretton’s department store many years ago. This entrance allows shoppers to enter directly from the parking lot as well as it facilitates easy pick up of larger items. To support a seamless integration with the e-commerce store, online shoppers are able to process online returns in-store and the online store features an in-store availability product check for customers wanting to shop in person.
During the tour, we encountered many loyal L.L.Bean shoppers that have been shopping online and through the catalogue for many years. Shayo mentions that, “These customers have been shopping the brand for so many years. It is great for them to see the catalogue come to life. The touch and feel goes such a long way.” Daechsel adds that, “I helped a customer today and he was in awe to see the product come to life.”
The Edmonton L.L.Bean store is positioned for success with an already loyal Edmonton customer base from catalogue and online. The prime location in West Edmonton Mall will help to engage with shoppers new to the brand and create new shopping experiences for existing shoppers.
We will follow up on the L.L. Bean Edmonton store once the expanded mall frontage is completed.
Related Retail Insider Articles
- L.L.Bean Announces Plans to Open 5 More Canadian Stores
- Athleta Opens at West Edmonton Mall
- West Edmonton Mall’s Biggest Fan: Interview with Matthew Dutczak of Best Edmonton Mall