Steve Gauvin installs a lock on a door at the L.L.Bean flagship store in March 2020 in Freeport. L. L. Bean is returning to its 24/7 schedule in May. The flagship store, which is usually opens 24 hours a day, did not have locks on most of its doors. AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty

L.L.Bean announced Thursday that their Flagship store in Freeport will return to the 24-hour, seven days-a-week operating schedule on May 3.

In March 2020, the retailer temporarily closed all of its stores due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time the flagship store was closed for more than 24 hours.

The flagship store reopened with limited hours last May.

“Returning to 24-hour service, extending hours and opening new stores all mark milestones for our organization and communities as we look toward a post-pandemic era and see a continued interest in the outdoors,” said L.L.Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman.

Gorman said that the store, which first opened over 100 years ago, implemented the 24-hour model in 1951 as a way to accommodate people who would drive through Freeport in the middle of the night for an early morning start outdoors.

Two other stores on L.L.Bean’s Freeport campus — the Home and Bike and Boat & Ski store — will also extend their hours beginning May 3, operating from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Despite the pandemic, the company, which has dozens of stores in 19 states and a hefty online presence, had a banner year, as revenue grew by 5%, its best showing since 2011, and taking in a net revenue of $1.59 billion, according to the Associated Press.


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