Eddie Bauer Home plans new stores, catalog growth

Courtney Paschal, Carole Sloan, March 12, 2001

DOWNERS GROVE, IL -Citing "solid growth" in its 2000 Eddie Bauer Home business, Michael Moran, chairman of the office of the president, The Spiegel Group, said the business would add four new stores for this year.

And home will play a key growth role in the company's Newport News catalog.

"We had steady gains in Eddie Bauer Home despite the problems in Eddie Bauer apparel," Moran added. "We had steady improvement in bed and bath with 3 percent comps for the stores and 10 percent gains for the direct sales." At year's end, there were 39 Eddie Bauer Home stores.

In addition, Moran said, "We will continue to grow the Eddie Bauer catalog and focus on higher productivity per page while maintaining the same circulation." Eddie Bauer Kids, launched in fall 2000, will be enhanced this year, he added.

In a conference call with analysts discussing this year's outlook vs. last year's results, Moran said Spiegel Catalog will continue to "further develop specific merchandise programs for merchandise segments like stress relief or classic apparel as well as expand Kids Resource and Spiegel Life, two segmented catalogs." Spiegel also is expanding its Internet-only merchandise, he explained.

Newport News, the company's value-driven catalog for home and apparel, "will aggressively increase its online business, particularly broadening its home opening," he said.

In 2000, Newport News had a 17 percent increase, "with substantial improvement in earnings."

The company's outlet business recorded strong growth last year and "will increase the percentage of exclusive product for the division," Moran said.

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