Philip (Bing) Adams acquired Kittery Trading Post in 1938. At that time the store was a modest one-room trading post / gas station. During the early days, Bing's reputation as an "honest horse trader" brought people from far and wide. He swapped fur pelts for gas, beef for ammunition and supplies for a car.
The gas pumps are gone now, but the values first instilled by Bing Adams, remain intact to this day. What started out as one man's means of providing for his family, has turned into a 90,000 square feet retail outdoor specialty sports operation offering quality customer service, exceptional selection and fair, competitive prices.
Eighty years later, Kittery Trading Post continues to be owned and operated by the Adams family.
1938: Philip (Bing) Adams purchases Kittery Trading Post on Route One in Kittery, Maine from Frank Haskell
1942: The first addition of 140 square feet brings Kittery Trading Post to 500 square feet.
1948: Another addition increases the size to 2,600 square feet with an additional 2,600 square feet for apartments above the store. The apartments serve as home for the Adams Family until 1983.
1961: At the age of 21 years, Kevin O. Adams buys the Kittery Trading Post from his father.
1964: Kittery Trading Post is incorporated in the State of Maine on September 1, 1964.
1966: This year brings a reallocation of existing space. 1,400 square feet previously used as living quarters is converted to retail selling space, making a total of 4,000 square feet.
1972: A major expansion of the store increases the amount of retail floor space to 11,000 square feet with 4,700 square feet of warehouse and office space.
1977: A year and a half after first breaking ground for this latest addition of 18,000 square feet, the store could now claim a total of 36,700 square feet of selling, office and warehouse space. In celebration of this occasion and to pay tribute to our outdoor sporting heritage, Kittery Trading Post holds its first Septemberfest® event.
1978: A freestanding warehouse of 9,600 square feet is constructed.
1979: Kittery Trading Post is voted "Independent Specialty Retailer of the Year" in the 18th Annual Leadership Awards for outstanding contributions and service to the United States Sporting Goods Industry, outstanding service to the customer, integrated merchandising and exceptional store layout.
1982: An addition connecting the warehouse to the main building is completed, allowing for increased operating efficiency and improved customer service.
1983: A renovation converting 4,000 square feet of warehouse space into retail floor space increases the store's total retail selling area to 23,000 square feet.
1986: Kevin O. Adams retires at the age of 47 to enjoy the great outdoors. Gary, Philip, Kevin F., and Kim Adams carry on the family tradition as owners of the Kittery Trading Post.
1988: Kittery Trading Post celebrates its 50th years as a family business. Plans are on the drawing board for another major expansion of 20,000 square feet.
1990: Kittery Trading Post gets a face lift on the front of the building along with an expansion of the parking lot area.
1992: A 4,000 square foot expansion is added to the existing warehouse in preparation for the next major retail expansion.
1993: Plans on the drawing board in 1988 for doubling the size of the store's retail area become a reality. In September of 1993, Kittery Trading Post officially adds a two story building between the existing store and warehouse. This construction includes a second store entrance, an elevator accessible to all three levels, new rest room facilities, and an open skywalk connecting the original store to the new building.
1995: Kittery Trading Post is presented with the Governor's Award for Business Excellence. The award, given to only six Maine businesses, bestows special recognition to a business for its contribution in the areas of Community, Employees and Manufacturing/Service. Also in 1995, with expansion now becoming a Kittery Trading Post tradition, the store's parking area is expanded to accommodate another 125 parking spaces.
1996: Kittery Trading Post launches its website on the worldwide web with the future goal of eventually offering online purchases of products and services.
1997: The mezzanine area on the upper level is renovated and expanded to allow for an increase in the selection of shooting sports clothing and accessories.
1998: Kittery Trading Post celebrates 60 years as a New England Outdoor Specialty Outfitters.
2001: Following his older brothers Kevin and Philip (who retired in 1999), Gary Adams retires at age 58 to enjoy life in the outdoors. The family business continues under the leadership of Kevin F. and Kim Adams. This year also marked Kittery Trading Post's recognition as "Retailer of the Year" by the Maine Merchants Association.
2002: In order to keep up with growing inventory and demand, Kittery Trading Post purchases a 34,000 square foot warehouse facility five miles up the road in York, Maine.
2003: This year marks the beginning of a major multi-phase expansion that will include a substantial overhaul of the store's appearance, a new entrance closer to Route One, the inclusion of a second level over the main floor, a two-level boatyard situated directly adjacent to the store and new administrative offices. Retail space resulting from this expansion will increase by an additional 30,000 square feet, bringing Kittery Trading Post's total retail area to 90,000 square feet. Final completion of this expansion and renovation is set for 2006.
2004: Kittery Trading Post purchases the former Dansk Square Mall property on Route One and expands its outdoor sporting goods categories with the opening of KTP X Sports. Located only 200 yards south of Kittery Trading Post, KTP X Sports offers a full selection of goods and services related to bicycling, paintball and water sports. All these product lines were moved to our Main store location in September of 2008.
2005: The Company's multi-phase expansion, which began in 2003, is completed one year ahead of schedule. The substantial increase in retail floor space now allows for increased and new product offerings in outdoor sports specialty categories such as alpine skis & snowboards, snowmobile accessories, RV and ATV accessories.
2006: With a fresh new appearance and expanded product offerings, Kittery Trading Post leases an additional 60,000 square feet of warehouse space for increased distribution of products.
2013: Kittery Trading Post celebrates its 75th anniversary as a local, family-owned Maine business. Co-owner Kim Adams retires, and the company carries on under the guidance of Kevin F. and Bob Adams, Kevin’s cousin.
2014: Now sporting an enclosed boatyard, increasing lines of branded products and additional customer amenities such as an outdoor eatery, picnic area and complimentary kennels; Kittery Trading Post continues to welcome new and returning visitors through its doors in Kittery and on the web at www.ktp.com.
2016: A major redesign of the store's upper level results in an additional 1,200 square feet of retail space to showcase premier outdoor brands such as Canada Goose, Parajumpers and Arc'teryx. The family pet also receives special attention with an even greater selection of specialty sports gear to enhance those outdoor adventures.
2017: Upgrades in lighting, fixtures and dressing rooms are just a few improvements as we continue to welcome new and returning visitors to our Kittery storefront and on the web at www.ktp.com.
2018: Celebrating 80 years of outfitting and sharing with our customers the finest goods, services, knowledge and experiences to enhance their appreciation & enjoyment of the outdoors. In this our 80th year in business, we wish to reaffirm our commitment to our local/surrounding communities and support of efforts directed at the conservation of our natural resources and safekeeping of our outdoor sporting heritage.