Tysons Corner – Choice of Retailers for 1st Stores – Apple & LL Bean

Posted by Lise | Filed under: Notable Places

Did you know that the first full sized LL Bean store outside of Freeport, Maine opened at Tyson’s Corner in 2000? At 76,000 square feet, the mall management designated L.L. Bean as an “anchor store,” like  Bloomingdale’s.  Unlike  other “anchor stores,” this one  actually can sell anchors, and Canoes, kayaks and other “outdoor gear”  too!  The store features a 16-foot waterfall cascading from the second floor into a live trout pound, an interactive children’s climbing wall, a stone hiking ramp and stone paths connecting the display areas.

The 50-foot glass rear wall provides an outdoors view, along with a display space big enough for boats.   The stainedclapboard facade  evokes the company’s Maine roots.   In addition to the outdoor gear that can be purchased for these pastimes, L.L. Bean is noted for conservative fashion.  Since Washington area is probably the conservative-fashion capital of the world, it’s no surprise that millions of  L.L. Bean customers live here – which justified LL Bean’s decision to open the new store here eleven years ago.  The decision was made easier when LL Bean took into account the size of Tyson’s Corner, the number of shoppers, and future plans for development.

Did you know that outdoors gear and conservative fashion were combined in the first L.L. Bean product: the lightweight waterproof hiking boots made by Leon Leonwood Bean. When 90 pairs were sent back due to defects, it proved to be a blessing in disguise: the company built its reputation by refunding the money for them all.

How quickly things have changed! Do  you know that it was only 10 years ago Thursday, it was at Tysons Corner that Apple opened its first retail store, setting in motion the company’s transformation from struggling innovator with little direct retail presence to a technology juggernaut worth more than $300 billion. (Only Exxon Mobil is worth more.)

The Tysons Corner location opened three hours before another Apple store in Glendale, Calif., because of the time-zone difference. The company now has more than 300 stores around the world, generating about $9 billion a year in revenue and drawing a billion visitors.  I haven’t waited in line for the new I Pad, but I have certainly passed the Apple Store in Bethesda, MD on my way to a listing at Kenwood Forest or to show a home in Chevy Chase and noticed the long lines snaking down Bethesda Avenue as people wait for their turn to enter the store and make their selection!

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