EDDIE BAUER EXITS: Eddie Bauer Inc. has emerged from the Spiegel Inc. Chapter 11 reorganization process as an independent company called Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. Spiegel filed for bankruptcy on March 17, 2003. “We are extremely excited about our new status as a stand-alone company. The entire Eddie Bauer team worked hard during the Spiegel bankruptcy to build a strong platform for the future,” said president and chief executive officer Fabian Mansson, in a statement Tuesday. “We streamlined operations, recruited new talent to strengthen the team and renewed our commitment to providing quality apparel and accessories that reflect a modern outdoor lifestyle.” Eddie Bauer, based in Redmond, Wash., specializes in selling clothing and accessories for those who appreciate the outdoors. It operates more than 400 stores in the U.S. and Canada, distributes catalogues and has joint ventures in Japan and Germany as well as a Web site.
LAURA ASHLEY LEAVES REGENT: British retailer Laura Ashley plans to close its Regent Street flagship following a rent review. “Our decision to withdraw from Regent Street was not taken lightly,” the company said in a statement, “but a review saw an increase in rent to levels that would have made it unprofitable to continue.” A spokeswoman added there were no future closures planned. Earlier this year, Laura Ashley said it would be cutting its fashion offering and increase its focus on home furnishings, following an 11.4 percent drop in sales. The company still has three stores remaining in London’s West End. As reported, House of Fraser was forced to close its Dickins & Jones store on Regent Street last week, also due to high rents.
RETAIL EATERY: Bergdorf Goodman will open BG, a bar-restaurant with a view overlooking Central Park and room for about 100 guests, in October. The 2,000-square-foot BG will be on the seventh floor of the women’s store, and will take some of the space currently occupied by the home department. Kelly Wearstler Interior Design has been selected to create BG. “We chose to work with Kelly because not only does she have a great respect for the traditions of fine living, but she has that rare ability to glamorize historical classics into spaces with a completely modern appeal,” said Linda Fargo, vice president of visual merchandise for Bergdorf Goodman. Bergdorf’s also operates Goodman’s Cafe on the beauty level, and Cafe 745 in its men’s store.