Scheels, Staples, Nordstrom partnering with outdoor retail powerhouse L.L. Bean

Scheels has entered into a wholesale partnership with L.L. Bean. The Fargo-based retailer will begin selling a curated collection of L.L. Bean products this fall, according to a news release issued July 14 by L.L. Bean. (File Photo)
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FREEPORT, Maine - Fargo-based Scheels, along with Staples and Nordstrom, will be part of outdoor retailer L.L. Bean’s first forays into wholesale partnerships.

The wholesale effort begins at Staples, with L.L. Bean selling back-to-school necessities such as backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles and other items in more than 1,000 stores and online, L.L. Bean said in a news release issued Tuesday, July 14. L.L. Bean stores will also carry some Staples products, including notebooks, binders, folders and writing instruments.

Six Scheels retail stores will carry a curated collection of L.L. Bean outdoors products, including Bean Boots, active outerwear, fleece and flannel. That partnership will be launched this fall.

“Scheels is proud to partner with L.L. Bean and excited about the opportunity,” Scheels CEO Steve Scheel said in the news release.

Scheels’ website lists 29 locations in 13 states.


Nordstrom will begin selling L.L. Bean products in 20 of its stores later in the fall and into the holiday season.


The partnerships will put L.L. Bean products into more than 1,200 more stores, as well as the online sales channels of the three retailers.
L.L. Bean now operates 54 locations, primarily in New England and the Atlantic region. There are also 25 stores in Japan. The partnerships are a first for the firm, which has operated as a direct-to-consumer business since its inception 108 years ago.

“We have been working with these amazing partners for more than a year, and we are excited to be able to finally announce the next phase of our omni-channel growth strategy, said Stephen Smith, the president and CEO of L.L. Bean.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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