SOUTH BARRINGTON, IL- L.L. Bean is expanding into the Midwest and has chosen the Chicago suburbs for its first Midwest location. The retailer has said it plans to expand to operating 32 stores by 2012. This year, the company will open two stores in the Midwest in addition to a location in Pennsylvania and possibly a store in upstate New York, says a company spokeswoman.

The retailer has chosen the Arboretum of South Barrington as its first Chicago area location. The company signed a lease for a 30,000 sf store at the property, a 600,000-sf lifestyle center at the intersection of Illinois Routes 59 and 72. The term of the lease for L.L. Bean is 15 years, says Michael Jaffe, president of Jaffe Cos.

The location will be the company’s 11th store and the first store that is not in the Northeast corridor, the spokeswoman says. The Chicago area was chosen because L.L. Bean already has a large customer base here, she says. South Barrington “is some place that did have an appeal to us with the new lifestyle center as well as the location within Chicago,” she says.

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