What happens at LL Bean at three in the morning?


The LL Bean flagship store in Maine is open 24 hours a day. Joshua Gleason went to see what people do there at three in the morning. There are people around, but they're not shopping.

Comments (11)
  1. Nathan says:

    Freeport is an interesting place — changed a lot in the past 20 years. Still, if you are ever Down East, take the trip on Route 1 to visit there. Still, some 80% of my clothes are from there (polos, chinos, etc).

    Anyway, there’s always folks who want to call and place orders at 3 AM Christmas morning, "Just to see" if LL Bean is still open. My brother in law is one of them. I wonder if they do it now for cachet rather than need.

  2. matthew says:

    Does anyone know why NPR don’t provide transcripts? Raymond frequently links to NPR, but it generally takes 30 minutes to listen to something you could read a transcript of in 2 minutes.

    [Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a Web site where you could type <NPR transcripts> and it gave you a link to a page that answered the question Why does NPR charge for transcripts? I bet you could make a lot of money with such a service. -Raymond]
  3. DEngh says:

    @matthew: They do.  You have to pay for them.

    http://www.npr.org/transcripts/

    Search for "LL Bean" using the ‘exact phrase’ option.

  4. Chris says:

    Don’t try to shop in Germany at 3am. You wont find  a shop that is opened. There are some supermarkets hard to find – I think the count is 5 to 8 over the whole country – that are opened 24h/6d. On Sunday they are also closed.

    If you need food go find a fueling station but take enough money with you. However also dont be too suprised if you can only find closed fs.

  5. JeffH says:

    Nathan, your brother-in-law needs to understand that the mail-order department is not necessarily the same as the retail store; L. L. Bean does have a significant worldwide market, including in Japan, and so their mail order department needs to be open all hours, not just for cachet.

    The store is also open 24 hours, for real, though it’s pretty sparse most of the time, except near Christmas. I’ve been there in the wee hours, not often, but they’re open. In fact, and this may be apocryphyal, I think that the last time they closed was when JFK was shot, for an hour. Possibly also for a power outage, but nowadays they have their own generators — when the lights are out in town, say at the Starbuck’s next door, Bean’s is still up and running. That *may* be for cachet, but a lot of people do like to stop in at late nights in tourist season, on the way to their camp or whatever.

    Me, I live about 2.5 miles away. I generally like Bean’s, but not in daytime in the summer, when Main St. is clogged with tourists on foot and in vehicles. I am wondering why they don’t just get it over and bulldoze the surrounding neighborhood for parking, and put a in direct exit off the highway. And their recent free concert series (John Hiatt & Shawn Colvin this Saturday) — nice idea, but now folks have taken to putting their chairs up in front of the stage 3 days before the actual event (as in Thursday morning).

    I like living in Freeport, mostly, but summer time can be a trial. Fortunately I can avoid the main drag when I’m in the car, or bicycle through if need be.

    Jeff

  6. matthew says:

    I wonder what if NPR have done any research into the pricing of the transcripts. $3.95 is clearly too much for something in which you have just a casual interest, but would they sell twice as many copies at $2, or 4* more at $1.

    I can’t imagine they sell that many at $4/time.

  7. Miles Archer says:

    I go away for a week and the nitpickers corner disappears?

    I assume you’re talking about the LL Bean in Maine in the US.

  8. will dieterich says:

    For Germany stores are allowed to be opened 8 am to 9pm (until recently was 8pm) and close on Sunday; states can set rules on how often stores can be opened on Sundays as part of special events.  Restaurant, bars and bakeries have a different set of rules.

    When I moved here 5 years ago they were just switching from hours of 10am to 5pm weekdays and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.

    Gas stations, with mini stores, that are located on the autobahn(highways) are allowed to be open 24/7 and are authorized to only sell essential items.  The big question is why are beer and wine considered essential items?

  9. Marcel says:

    Will, that’s not true anymore. While Sundays are still reglemented in Germany most states have adopted the 6×24 model so shops can be open whenever they like, except Sunday. But in practice next to no shops are open after 10pm.

    BTW beer IS essential and gas stations are often the only hope for parties running out of "fuel" :-)

  10. Barry Tannenbaum says:

    I live in Nashua, NH, and I have friends who’ve driven to Freeport (about 2 hours from here) at O-Dark-30 in the morning to go to LL Bean, just because it’s there, it’s open, and they can.  It’s part of the brand and it’s cachet.

    It’s certainly easier to go to EMS or REI at the mall, but then you can’t brag that you bought your item at 3AM.

  11. Andrew says:

    Entirely related, is the origin of the word port in computing derived from shipping?

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