Since taking the helm of Eddie Bauer Holdings on July 9, CEO Neil Fiske told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a recent article that he has set his sights on returning the retailer to its roots of appealing to men to break free of the decade-long malaise that has driven away customers and put the business in the red.
Fiske said the company lost its identity in the past 10 years as it focused too much on women's fashion and was dragged into bankruptcy because of financial problems with its former parent, Spiegel Inc. Fiske promises no quick fixes, and he said it would take a "multiyear" plan to entice more men, especially those in their late 30s and early 40s, to the company's 377 U.S. and Canadian stores and catalog and Internet businesses, according to the article. While Fiske didn't divulge specific details of the turnaround plan, he has told investors the company would emphasize its men's business and outerwear, improve marketing and reduce costs.
Before coming to Eddie Bauer, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer article noted that Fiske is credited with transforming Bath & Body Works from a languishing mall store into a leading specialty retailer during his four years as CEO. He also co-wrote a best-selling business book, "Trading Up," about how companies create luxury goods and why consumers want them.
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