Authentic Brands Group announced on September 15 that its Eddie Bauer brand has entered into a new retail partnership with local distribution company, Itochu.
Eddie Bauer’s new deal with Itochu, a trading company based in Japan that spans verticals such as textiles, machinery, food and energy, will see the American outdoor brand roll out across the archipelago nation encompassing the launch of new stores, wholesale accounts and an official branded e-commerce site, according to a press release.
Strengthening the deal, Itochu has partnered with Mizujin, a fashion wholesale and retail company, to design, manufacture and distribute Eddie Bauer products. Together, they will open new freestanding stores, expand shop-in-shop locations and specialty accounts and relaunch the brand’s official Japanese e-commerce in spring 2023.
In addition to bringing Eddie Bauer’s physical presence back to Japan, the deal will broaden the U.S. brand’s offerings with a full assortment of performance and lifestyle apparel and accessories for men, women and children.
“We are pleased to grow the Eddie Bauer brand in this important market and to expand on ABG’s relationship with Itochu,” said Jarrod Weber, Group President Lifestyle, Chief Brand Officer, ABG.
“Through the agreement, Itochu becomes a marquee partner for Eddie Bauer as we further the global strategy across strategic markets and engage with outdoor enthusiasts around the world.”
Founded in Seattle in 1920, Eddie Bauer first entered Japan in the nineties. Last year, the company announced it would close its 60 stores and online shopping website in Japan by the end of December 2021.
This new deal with Itochu looks to be the brand’s renaissance in the Japanese market and will strengthen the brand’s presence there in 2022 and beyond.
“Eddie Bauer is a pioneering American heritage brand known for quality products, performance technology and style,” said Yoshinari Nakamura, President of Mizujin.
“Our aim is to build on Eddie Bauer’s strong foundation and rich heritage to enhance its presence in the Japanese outdoor and fashion markets.” Eddie Bauer was acquired by ABG in May last year.