L.L. Bean coming to Burlington - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

L.L. Bean coming to Burlington

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - A new major retailer is coming to downtown Burlington. And it may excite some outdoor enthusiasts.

City councilors have been hinting about a new anchor store at the Burlington Town Center Mall. And now we know it will be L.L. Bean. The Maine-based company will have an on-street entrance on Cherry Street and will fill two floors of old office space. The store will be about 18,000-square-feet. To put that into perspective, it's a little more than double the size of Pottery Barn. It will also be about 3,000-square-feet larger than the L.L. Bean in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.

The store specializes in activewear, as well as gear for hiking, fly fishing, kayaking and camping. It will also be offering hands-on demonstrations for several outdoors activities.

L.L. Bean says it chose Burlington based on the high number of catalogs and web customers coming from this area.

And for the city, it's part of a push to redevelop Cherry Street. The hope is to make the street the gateway to the waterfront. And it's happening. Already, several new restaurants popped up on lower Cherry Street near the new hotels. And one of the gems in the Queen City, the Church Street Marketplace, says this redevelopment will only help all business.

"Downtowns across the country have always faced challenges with staying relevant and being able to draw consumers, especially with so many big box stores and outlying development of retail. And one of the great things about the Church Street Marketplace, 32 years after an incredibly visionary group of people decided to do this, it remains vibrant and exciting," said Becky Cassidy of the Church Street Marketplace. "For Burlington Town Center, they've done a great job in recruiting L.L. Bean. It's going to be a great space because not only is there going to be access from inside Burlington Town Center, but also direct access from the street."

"I'm really excited. It's a lovely company and I think it will add a lot to the Burlington community," said Lily Sargeant, shopper.

Several other shoppers say they would have preferred a Target in that location.

This will be L.L. Bean's first Vermont store. It's slated to open in October. Store officials say it will employ about 100 people.

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