Freeport, ME, United States (AHN) – These boots weren’t first made for walking, they were made for fisherman and hunters. One hundred years later, LL Bean’s boots are staples for scores of people.
Outdoor retailer LL Bean marks 100 years in business this week, and in celebration it has built a four-wheeled version of the founders’ famous hunting boot.
The “Bootmobile” measures more than 20 feet in length. It was unveiled to workers Tuesday, and then hits the road for a trek to New York City to help the company celebrate its 100th anniversary.
LL Bean was founded in 1912 by avid fisherman and hunter Leon Leonwood Bean in Greenwood, ME. His signature lightweight waterproof boots were coveted and dubbed the “Bean Boot.”
Bean set up his mail order business in his brother’s basement in Freeport, ME, that same year. Defects in the initial design led to 90 percent of the original boots being returned. Bean made good on his money-back guarantee, corrected the design and continued selling them.
The company later branched out to sell full lines of outdoor equipment and clothing, which is now its mainstay.
Privately-held LL Bean is expected to report $1.5 billion in annual sales for fiscal 2011.