Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent line has become a staple in the outdoor industry—and in Outside magazine. From the Gear of the Year award-winning Neoteric shell to the coveted Bacon pack, we’ve been impressed by the company’s innovation and guide-tested apparel.
So when the news broke this morning that menswear retailer Jos. A. Bank plans to purchase Eddie Bauer for a hefty $825 million, we wondered: What exactly does this mean for Eddie Bauer?
Not a lot, actually.
“For First Ascent specifically, I don’t really expect much to change,” says a source familiar with Golden Gate Capital, which owns Eddie Bauer. “Jos. A. Bank is very supportive of the Eddie Bauer First Ascent strategy, which really focuses on partnerships with top athletes and guides.”
After the acquisition, Eddie Bauer will operate as a separate company under current CEO Mike Egeck. “We are very proud of what we have achieved by refocusing Eddie Bauer on its heritage in serving outdoor enthusiasts and leveraging innovation and product expertise,” Egeck said in a press release. “We are excited to join forces and accelerate our progress.”
According to the source above, Eddie Bauer hopes to open more stores in the U.S., as well as expand into Western Europe and Asia. “From Eddie Bauer’s perspective, now they’re part of a larger platform, they’re part of a bigger business, they’re trying to execute on their retail strategy.”
Which means more great gear for us—check out a few of our favorite items in the Summer Buyer’s Guide, on newsstands mid-April.