A new L.L. Bean store opened recently in Yonkers, NY just off I-87 at Ridgehill Mall about 15 minutes from where I live. Although this was a bit of a departure from my normal weekend round of thrift stores and consignment shops, I just had to go and check out the new Bean store. I’ve never actually visited one. This wasn’t an outlet mall version either — it was full retail with the regular merchandise prices. The store was well-stocked and very spacious, and there were plenty of sales people ready to help at a moment’s notice — but they weren’t intrusive or pushy in any way to sell me. That was refreshing. Unfortunately, the battery on my phone/camera died while I was in the store, and I won’t be able to post interior shots until another visit.
I looked at the classic men’s handsewn blucher moccasin and came very close – on an impulse – to getting a new pair at $69.00. For many years, I had a pair of these, but somewhere along the way I lost them, or gave them away — probably to a thrift store. But I passed on these – actually, they didn’t have the saddle color in stock, only the cactus color. The store is still trying out the clientele and guaging up what items will move. I don’t think these shoes will be easy to find in a thrift store. I’ve never seen a pair in that setting. It’s one of those items that I will probably have to pay full retail for one day soon. The gas I’d burn going to the L.L. Bean outlet store in New Jersey would more than swallow any savings.
Bottom line is – while I’d like not to pay retail – sometimes it’s both necessary and practical to do so to get just the right thing. That sums up my shopping philosophy. But I’m amazed at how many kinds of clothes in the L.L. Bean product line – shirts, sweaters, field coats and goose down vests – I’ve been able to find in thrift stores. The money saved has been considerable — hundreds of dollars.
My one purchase today: a pair of heavyweight 100% Merino Wool Ragg Socks for $8.50.