The L.L. Bean store at the Mall in Columbia will close on May 31, according to a store manager who spoke with Patch on Wednesday evening.
The manager said employees had been notified and that L.L. Bean wouldn’t be signing a new lease at a smaller location at the mall. The manager declined to give her name when asked.
"L.L.Bean has been a valued tenant at The Mall in Columbia," said Katie Essing, the mall's general manager in a statement. "We never like to see a retailer leave our property; but when that situation arrives, it provides us with another opportunity to continue to provide great retail options to our shoppers."
L.L. Bean had previously asked to downsize their location, which caused General Growth Properties, the mall’s operators, to by the Howard County Planning Board, to add a new entrance to the mall, as well as 43,500 square feet of new retail space where the L.L. Bean store is currently.
Essing said in the statement the new space will enhance the mix of shopping, dining and entertainment that the mall is able to provide.
The Downtown Columbia master plan had directed developers to make a connection to the Lakefront and this redevelopment will allow the mall to do that, according to Jim Whitcome, senior development director for GGP.
In July, the store’s general manager Tom Metzger said the desire to downsize the store was part of L.L. Bean’s global operations. At the time, he said L.L. Bean was negotiating with GGP about possibly staying in the mall, but at a smaller location.
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