By Associated Press - Monday, March 16, 2020

FREEPORT, Maine (AP) - L.L. Bean is closing all of its retail stores across the country, including its flagship store in Freeport, Maine, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

CEO Steve Smith said the closings will begin at midnight and continue through March 29.

It’ll be the first time the 24-hour flagship store in Freeport has closed for more than 24 hours, and only the fifth time the store has closed, Smith said. All store employees will receive pay and benefits during the closure, he said.

“By making this decision now, we can better ensure the safety of our employees and customers, as we all continue to navigate a rapidly evolving situation and follow the CDC’s guidelines around the importance of social distancing,” he wrote.

The company’s warehouse and shipping operations remain open, so customers can place orders online or call a toll-free number, he said. The outdoors retailer has more than 5,000 workers in Maine and at locations around the world.

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