Simon joint venture to buy 300-store Eddie Bauer

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Simon Breaking

Indianapolis-based mall owner and operator Simon Property Group Inc. and a partner have agreed to buy outdoor gear and apparel retailer Eddie Bauer, which will join a growing stable of high-profile retail brands owned by the two firms.

Authentic Brands Group LLC, a global brand development and marketing company, and SPARC Group LLC, a joint venture of Authentic and Simon, are acquiring the 300-store chain and its e-commerce business from a unit of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, according to an announcement from the firms.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in June.

Simon and Authentic have teamed to buy several other apparel retailers in recent years, including Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand Dungarees, Nautica and fast-fashion retailer Forever 21.

SPARC currently generates nearly $8.6 billion in annual sales.

Bauer, which was founded in 1920, will remain headquartered in Seattle area and under the leadership of President Damien Huang, the firms said. Authentic will own Bauer’s intellectual property, while Bauer and SPARC leaders will manage the brand’s sourcing, product design and development, as well as its stores and e-commerce business.

Nearly half of Bauer’s sales were online last year as the pandemic severely curtailed foot traffic at shopping centers.

Simon and Authentic said international growth would be an important part of the brand strategy, including in Asia and Europe.

Huang said he believed the retailer is ready “to compete and win in a digitally-driven, omnichannel world.”

Eddie Bauer currently counts one store in the Indianapolis area, at Carmel’s Clay Terrace. Earlier this year, Bauer closed its store in Circle Centre mall.

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2 thoughts on “Simon joint venture to buy 300-store Eddie Bauer

    1. Exactly. Along with Brooks Brothers and Nautica. All brands that are a solid 20 years past their prime. Might still have some value, but can’t imagine them lasting in stand alone stores.