LL Bean flagship Freeport stores have rare closure as memorial is held for longtime leader

WESTBROOK, Maine – L.L. Bean’s stores in the Maine town of Freeport closed Sunday for the first time in nearly a half-century as 500 gathered at a memorial service for the retailer’s longtime leader.

The service for Leon Gorman was held at a performing arts centre in Westbrook. Burial will be private.

L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, where the company was founded, is usually open around the clock.

It’s been 48 years since the outdoors retailer has voluntarily closed stores there. It has happened only twice before, following the deaths of President John F. Kennedy and Leon Leonwood Bean himself.

The stores reopened at noon on Sunday.

Gorman died earlier this month at the age of 80.