L.L.Bean Closes Headquarters, Stores and Factories in Maine After Mass Shooting
L.L.Bean has shuttered its flagship store, corporate headquarters, factories and other facilities in Maine, the outdoor goods retailer told CNN on Thursday, as authorities conduct a manhunt in the area for a person of interest in mass shootings. A spokesperson for the century-old company, one of Maine’s biggest employers, said it decided to shut the sites “out of an abundance of caution.” L.L. Bean spokesperson Amanda Hannah said the company’s large campus of four stores in Freeport as well as its corporate headquarters in that town would be closed on Thursday. Freeport is located about 20 miles from Lewiston, where at least 16 people were killed in a mass shooting Wednesday night. L.L. Bean said it has also closed a manufacturing facility located in Lewiston as well as another one in Brunswick and an order fulfillment center.
Total Retail's Take: In response to the horrific and incredibly sad events that took place in Maine on Wednesday evening, L.L.Bean was forced to quickly shift into crisis management mode to protect its customers and employees. The retailer took immediate action, deciding to temporarily close its facilities in the state. This instance speaks to the importance of retailers having a crisis management plan in place, including communication to impacted parties. Whether it be a natural disaster, mass shooting event, or the global pandemic that we recently experienced, having a plan for such events is critical. While no one expects the worst, and we certainly don't hope for the worst, L.L.Bean immediately took action because it had a crisis management plan in place. This is a playbook that other retailers can and should follow.