My local Eddie Bauer store gave itself an adventure/travel makeover that puts outdoor clothes front-and-center.
I discovered this during a rare visit to Scottsdale Fashion Square. First, I noticed the Eddie Bauer store moved up a floor. And the items on-hand emphasized the more outdoor-oriented First Ascent line. The store focuses more on the “get out and get dirty” customer.
This little Eddie Bauer update makes me all sorts of happy. The old store was pretty cool, as were some of its items. But some of it? Hmm, a bit dowdy and plaid. And a lot of the items weren’t really outdoor clothes … at least not of the technical variety.
I dig the focus on adventure, travel and outdoor clothes – and the greater attention to the First Ascent line. It was enough to make me throw down for a pair of convertible lightweight pants. I’m not a huge fan of the convertible feature, but my current pants like them are ancient. I bought them at REI quite awhile ago … so I told the cashier. She asked how long I’d had my current pair.
“Oh, I remember wearing them in Belize back in 2007 … oh, my god! I just sounded like Jay Peterman!”
So I got a good laugh along with some new outdoor clothes out of my trip to Eddie Bauer. I would’ve gone for a shirt, too – but they didn’t have my size in the color I liked. I guess that’s why we have online shopping.
What’s my takeaway? Here’s how I see it: If I want cool outdoor clothes, I usually had to cruise out to one of two REI stores that are about 20 minutes away. Now Eddie Bauer gives me a viable option five minutes away. That’s a smart hole to fill between the big REI stores.