Eddie Bauer - Fashion Designer Encyclopedia

American sportswear and lifestyle company

Founded: in 1920 by Eddie Bauer, in Seattle, WA. Company History: Patented quilted goose down jacket, 1936; developed B-9 Flight Parka, 1942; Bauer sold company to partner William Niemi, 1968; company sold to General Mills, 1971; Ford produced first Eddie Bauer Edition vehicle, 1983; Spiegel purchases company, 1988; 100th store opening, 1989; formed partnerships with Lane Company for furniture, 1997; Giant Bicycle, Signature Eyewear, and Cosco, Inc., all 1998; stores in all 50 states, 2000. Company Address: 15010 NE 36th Street, Redman, WA 98052, USA. Company Website: www.eddiebauer.com .




Spector, Robert, The Legend of Eddie Bauer, New York, 1995.


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Faust, Leslie, "At Eddie Bauer You Can Work and Have a Life," in Personnel Journal (Costa Mesa, CA) 76, 1997.

Van Yoder, Steven, "Retailers Target Hidden Costs of On-the-Job Injuries," in Stores (New York), December 1999.

Cuneo, Alice Z, "Eddie Bauer Gets Update to Battle Dwindling Sales," in Advertising Age , 14 August 2000.

"Eddie Bauer Launches Website," in Home Textiles Today, 11September 2000.

Cole, Wendy, "SUV Strollers," in Time, 29 January 2001.

Sloane, Carole, "Eddie Bauer Home Plans New Stores, Catalogue Growth" in Home Textiles Today, 12 March 2001.


The Eddie Bauer Creed: To give you such outstanding quality, value, service and guarantee that we may be worthy of your high esteem.

The Eddie Bauer Guarantee: Every item we sell will give you complete satisfaction or you may return it for a full refund.

—Eddie Bauer, 1920


It is possible to live an entirely Eddie Bauer existence. Whether dressing for work or leisure, Eddie Bauer has you covered. Literally. With few exceptions, nearly everything in a casual or business casual wardrobe is available for men, women, and children. The company's Lifestyle division offers selections from the sheets on your bed (and the bed itself) to bathroom shower curtains, towels, and accessories; furnishings (even wallpaper) for your living room, home office, and children's rooms, to the outdoor furniture on the deck. Parents might purchase a stroller, car seat, or a full line of camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, packs, as well as outdoor and beach furniture.

Eddie Bauer luggage allows you to travel in style while visiting an Eddie Bauer store in every state of the U.S., and in Germany and Japan. A collaboration with Signature Eyewear offers sunglasses for driving your Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorer or Expedition or cycling away on an Eddie Bauer bike. Eddie Bauer corrective glasses might be in order when sitting down in front of your Eddie Bauer Special Edition Compaq Presario notebook computer. All the better for shopping online at, you guessed it, www.eddiebauer.com . Eddie Bauer will help you match an outfit, figure out your size, and remind you of your anniversary. While doing all this, Eddie Bauer supports education, gives to the community, empowers women, sponsors the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team, PGA and LPGA players, an Iditarod musher, and Eddie Bauer/Global ReLeaf, the Eddie Bauer Tree Project.

Unlike companies named for fictitious characters, Eddie Bauer was the founding father of the successful company bearing his name. Established in 1920 in Seattle, Washington, 21-year-old Bauer opened Eddie Bauer's Sport Shop in the back of a local hunting and fishing store. A great lover of the outdoors, Bauer offered high-quality gear at good prices. His commitment to his customers evolved into the creed and guarantee still honored today. While hunting in the 1930s, an unexpected winter rainstorm waterlogged his woolen clothing and led him to develop a protective outerwear garment. The Skyliner, the first American quilted goose down-insulated jacket, was patented in 1936. It was so successful that Bauer was commissioned in 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Corps to develop the B-9 flight parka. More than 50,000 jackets were manufactured for World War II airmen flying at high altitudes.

Astute at business, Bauer added women's clothing about the same time as the Skyliner. He issued a mail order catalogue in 1945 and began to outfit scientific and exploratory expeditions in the 1950s. Bauer retired in 1968, selling the business to his partner, William Niemi, who sold it to General Mills in 1971. The company shifted its focus from expedition gear and apparel to casual clothing and expanded to 61 stores and $250 million in sales between 1971 and 1988.

Spiegel purchased Eddie Bauer in 1988 and continued the aggressive growth and product development that would result in a huge variety of Eddie Bauer merchandise. The first Eddie Bauer Ford was manufactured in 1984, and in 1997 and 1998, the Lane Company signed on to produce Eddie Bauer Home; Giant Bicycle to produce bikes; Signature Eyewear for eyewear; and the company partnered with Cosco, Inc. to expand Baby by Bauer. An additional 300 stores opened by 1996, catalogues and stores were introduced in both Germany and Japan, size ranges were expanded, and a Web presence was introduced.

As a company, Eddie Bauer has a corporate conscience. Its employees' health and well-being are of genuine concern, and proactive health measures are embraced. The company offers many philanthropic opportunities, from education to community volunteerism. In 1995, Eddie Bauer joined with American Forest to establish the Eddie Bauer/Global ReLeaf project to help restore fire-ravaged forestlands. The project is more than halfway toward completing its goal of planting 2.5 million trees.

The success of Eddie Bauer lies in its ability to provide dependably comfortable, affordable, well-made clothing. Shopping is a pleasant experience, whether in the store, by catalogue, or online, and customer service is alive and well. The casual styles are reflective of an ever relaxing American lifestyle, with a nod toward the company's rugged roots.


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