FROM H&M TO EB?: Fabian Mansson, former chief executive officer of Hennes & Mauritz, has emerged as the lead candidate to head up Eddie Bauer, sources said Wednesday. He would succeed Richard T. Fersch, who retired from the Seattle-based retail and catalog firm last January, as president and ceo.

Bauer, a division of Spiegel, has been grappling with design directions and difficulties connecting with consumers for several seasons, and has recently been closing more stores than its been opening. Responding to the report, a Spiegel spokeswoman said: "We have not hired anyone yet. It’s premature to say that we’ve successfully filled the job."

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