Retail Trade: What No One Else Has As Good As

As avid hunters and campers know, L. L. Bean Inc. is a profitable anachronism hidden away in the snowy pine forests of northern New England. Bean's wilderness wares are acknowledged to be among the world's best, and each day as many as 5,000 letters flow into the company's rambling yellow factory and mail order headquarters in Freeport, Me. (pop. 4,000). Not long ago, someone in Bali offered to swap two native wood carvings for a pair of Bean hunting boots, and the deal was made. But despite the countless thousands of flashlights,...

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