American clothing company L.L. Bean—best known for selling outdoor apparel, like fleece jackets and its iconic “duck” boots—recently joined an exclusive club. This year, it turns 100, a rare achievement in the corporate world that puts the Freeport, Maine-based company on a list next to giants like IBM, General Electric and Chevron. The first product ever sold by L.L. Bean was the Maine Hunting Shoe, designed by outdoorsman Leon Leonwood Bean, who crafted a model with a rubber sole and shell and sold it by mail. Part of L.L. Bean’s success stems from the fact that it hasn’t strayed too far from its roots (this year it expects to sell half a million pairs of duck boots). A little marketing savvy helps too. To celebrate its anniversary, the company created a “Bootmobile,” a 20-foot-long truck that looks like a boot, which will drive around the country drumming up goodwill (and more sales).
L.L. Bean celebrates 100 years with a Bootmobile
Their iconic Maine Hunting Shoe serves as the model for the 20-foot-long truck