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Retail Across America: Maine

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Small Business Learning Lab: Wednesday, Feb. 24

Retail Across America: Small Business Learning Labs are educational programs designed for small retailers around the country. Learn more about marketing, social media, technology and other topics. Learn more about this month's event in Portland.

As U.S. Senator Angus King puts it, “Retail in Maine is what makes the communities come alive.” Watch as the Retail Association of Maine’s Curtis Picard, Sea Bags CEO Don Oakes, Royal River Natural Foods owner Tina Wilcoxson and Senator King discuss the diversity and impact of retail in Maine — ranging from well-known brands like L.L.Bean, Kittery Trading Post and Renys to dozens of small businesses like Gifford’s Ice Cream, Sea Bags and Royal River Natural Foods

In Maine, retail supports more than 200,000 jobs and contributes more than $10 billion to the state’s economy.

NRF and the Retail Association of Maine visited retailers in Kittery, Portland, Freeport and Skowhegan during the Retail Across America road trip. 

Check out more videos in this series, featuring companies like L.L.Bean, Renys, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, Kittery Trading Post, Sea Bags and Royal River Natural Foods.

The big spirit of Maine small businesses

Maine’s small businesses play a major role in the state’s local communities. In this video, hear from family-owned Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, sustainable tote bag maker Sea Bags and natural food market Royal River Natural Foods to learn how these small business retailers come together to keep the spirit and local flavor of Maine alive. 

Unexpected jobs in retail: Product Testing at L.L.Bean

Retail jobs extend beyond the cash register, and someone who knows this well is L.L.Bean Lead Laboratory Technician Tom Begley. From new product development testing to quality assurance, our Retail Across America crew got an inside look at a day in the life of his unique career.

Work hard, play hard

New England’s outdoor retailers sell more than just products; they sell a lifestyle. Orvis and Outdoor Gear Exchange (Vermont), Kittery Trading Post (Maine) and Zane’s Cycles (Connecticut) explain how fun and thrilling experiences are an integral part of keeping their employees and customers engaged with the great outdoors.

Growing up retail

For these retailers, growing up in the business makes for a lifetime of memories. Watch as Massachusetts’ Woodman’s of Essex and Circle Furniture and Maine’s Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream and Renys share the joy of running a family business and serving multiple generations of customers.

A taste of New England

Buying local and staying true to its heritage is what makes New England food so special. Whether it’s the lobsters and fried clams at Woodman’s of Essex in Massachusetts, sweet treats from Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream in Maine or fresh maple syrup from Franklin Farm in Vermont, New England restaurants and retailers offer endless options for experiencing the area’s local flavors.

Sea Bags in Maine

Explore more stories about retail in Maine:

What retail is really like in Maine
The Retail Association of Maine’s Curtis Picard acts as chief tour guide for NRF’s Retail Across America road trip in Vacationland, where retailers large and small deliver the “authentic Maine experience.”

Small Business Spotlight: Sea Bags
This is Retail takes a look inside Sea Bags' nautical workshop in the heart of Portland, Maine's working waterfront.

6 things you probably don’t know about Maine retail
Retail is Maine’s largest private-sector employer, but it’s stories that people relate to. Here are six from the NRF's 13th Retail Across America stop. 

Retail Across America
Retail Across America street

We set out on a road trip to find the most powerful retail stories across the United States, showing how retailers large and small are creating jobs, driving innovation and giving back to the communities they serve. This is Retail Across America.

Retail's Impact
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Find out how the retail industry impacts jobs, income and GDP in your state. View the map and check out the data.