US outdoor-wear giant Eddie Bauer is looking for an ad agency to spearhead its UK launch later this year. It is understood that two agencies will pitch for the business next month.
Three flagship stores are scheduled to open and the company plans to expand to about 50, to take on the likes of the Gap, Marks & Spencer and Next.
The 77-year-old company has 500 stores in the US and a further 30 stores in Japan and Germany. Its clothes target 25- to 55-year-old men and women and are described as casual with a sporting influence.
It is also launching a mail order catalogue, which will be sent to 500,000 potential customers.
Eddie Bauer marketing manager Douglas Gilmore says there is no direct competitor to Eddie Bauer in the UK. “We see enormous potential in this market. The Gap has done extremely well over here and we expect to begin to meet its success over the next few years.”
Based in the US, the Gap first launched in the UK ten years ago and now has about 70 stores. The Gap has a younger, more female market than Eddie Bauer, but the same casual American look.
The campaign is likely to include poster sites and press advertising, but the company refuses to say how much the account will be worth.