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L.L. BEAN ANNOUNCES FIRST JAPAN STORE OPENING; AMERICAN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE BROUGHT TO TOKYO

 L.L. BEAN ANNOUNCES FIRST JAPAN STORE OPENING;
 AMERICAN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE BROUGHT TO TOKYO
 FREEPORT, Maine., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- L.L. Bean, the nation's largest cataloger in the outdoor specialty field, announced that the first L.L. Bean Japan store opened on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 a.m. (Saturday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. EST). The store is the first to be opened under an agreement between L.L. Bean and L.L. Bean Japan, a joint venture of Seiyu, Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Company, Ltd., The opening marks the first time that L.L. Bean products, more than 75 percent of which are manufactured in the United States are available in a retail store other than Bean's famous store in Freeport, or its three factory outlets.
 L.L. Bean will continue to sell its products through its direct mail catalog to customers in the Japanese market.
 The store, located in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo (5-26 Okuzawa in Setagaya-Ku) offers 492 square meters (5,000 square feet) of retail space, and is the first of five scheduled to open over the next five years. The store is one of the largest outdoor specialty stores in Tokyo.
 "We expect the store to benefit from L.L. Bean's already wide name recognition in Japan thanks to our catalog sales there," says Leon Gorman, president of L.L. Bean. "And we expect catalog sales to benefit greatly from the increased exposure our products will now enjoy."
 The store has been designed as a "total outdoor lifestyle shop" which will offer Japanese customers L.L. Bean goods including men's and ladies' outdoor fashions and casual wear, footwear, luggage, and an extensive selection of outdoor sporting goods including fishing equipment, mountain bikes and camping needs. In addition, L.L. Bean Japan will work with L.L. Bean to develop a limited number of products specifically for the Japanese market.
 The design and layout of the store was based on the company's Freeport, headquarters. The design makes use of natural lighting and timbers to create an outdoor, airy effect, and will feature photos and displays focusing on the state of Maine and its landscape. Staff uniforms will be essentially identical to the forest green polo shirt and khaki trousers worn by L.L. Bean staff in Maine.
 "Until now, the Japanese outdoor market has been centered on outdoor sports, focusing mostly on mountain climbing and fishing," says L.L. Bean Japan President Katsuhiro Fujiseki. L.L. Bean Japan intends to take advantage of the recent outdoor boom in Japan by introducing an essentially American total outdoor lifestyle including products for everyday casual living."
 Over the weeks following the store's opening, there will be a number of special events and activities including: an L.L. Bean shoe hand sewer who will come from Maine to demonstrate his craft for Japanese customers; special archival displays of vintage products and photographs reflecting the growth of the company; and a retrospective showing the history of L.L. Bean catalog covers from 1932 - 1992. In December there will be a New England-style Christmas display featuring a collection of gift-giving products from L.L. Bean.
 -0- 11/08/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Sullivan of Ruder-Finn 212-715-1513 or home, 212-932-8485/ CO: L.I. Bean ST: Maine IN: REA SU:


JP -- NYSU005 -- 8442 11/08/92 11:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 8, 1992
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