July 26, 2002, 12:00 AM

L.L. Bean builds on its Japanese infrastructure to serve its new web site

Bean has been in Japan for 15 years with a catalog and stores. It will fulfill orders from its new web site from its fulfillment center in Shizuoka.

L.L. Bean will fulfill orders from its new web site from its existing fulfillment center in Shizuoka, Japan, the company tells InternetRetailer.com. “We are piggybacking on the infrastructure we have there,” says Jim Hall, international business manager for L.L. Bean.

Bean has had a presence in Japan for 15 years, first with a catalog operation starting in the late 1980s. A single store in 1992 has grown to nine today. “Japanese customers appreciate our company’s traditional items,” says Masaki Saito, international marketing manager. “A lot of Japanese customers are looking for that authentic American look and we fit right into that.”

L.L. Bean operates a call center in Tokyo. One of the features of the new web site will be a database accessible to call center reps on how to pronounce Japanese names. “Japanese names can be pronounced in many different ways, so capturing name pronunciation is very important,” Saito says.

The new LLBean.co.jp will present content in Japanese with yen-denominated prices.

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