Eddie Bauer Case Study

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1. Exhibit 3 shows a “super segment analysis” of the apparel market. Eddie Bauer positions itself mostly to the “Durable Quality Classics” segment. (What apparel brands target the other segments in the table?) Based on the buying behavior and sales data described in the case, how would you distinguish between Eddie Bauer customers who buy in the store by catalog in both the store and by catalog?

The “super segment analysis” table has four quadrants that are: “Quality-Timeless,” “Quality-Newest,” “Inexpensive-Lasting,” and “Inexpensive-Trendy.” Located within the “Quality-Timeless” quadrant are the “Durable Quality Classics” and “Upscale Classic Brands” segments. Eddie Bauer positions itself in the “Durable Quality Classics” segment, while their competition targets the “Upscale Classic Brands” segment. The main competitor included in this segment is L.L. Bean. Lands’ End, J. Crew, and Gap can technically be considered targeting this segment, but L.L. Bean is the primary retailer. Based on the buying behavior and sales data described in the case, how would you distinguish between Eddie Bauer customers who buy: a) In the store

Eddie Bauer is a unique store when it comes to distinguishing between customers who shop in their store and buy items from their catalog. Eddie Bauer, Inc. first began in 1920 as Eddie Bauer’s Tennis Shop. This single store located in the Seattle area was known for their customer service, outdoor sporting gear, and tennis equipment. After closing their retail stores for a while and just concentrating on the catalog or mail order side, it wasn’t until 1970 when Eddie Bauer opened another store in the Seattle area. These new stores continued to attract the same customer base as 1920 and were now known for cold-weather garments. However, when General Mills bought the company in 1971, they wanted it to grow. To achieve this goal they used the brand’s image to their advantage by placing a majority of the retail stores in northern cities. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the Eddie Bauer brand evolved again. The store was no longer located in the downtown areas; you could find the brand in malls. With this shift comes a more diverse product assortment. These new stores started carrying street wear for men and women. Soon the Eddie Bauer stores prospered; 80% of their customers shopped the stores, which equates to $1.5 billion (Eddie Bauer’s annual revenues were $2 billion). In today’s market, Eddie Bauer stores can be found in middle to upper scale regional malls. This fact means the stores are attracting middle to upper class customers. Statistically these customers are mostly women, 70%, and the women’s line or products were 45% of the sales. The customers that shopped at their retail locations also typically were younger than the catalog customers. Eddie Bauer describes their target market as educated, active, married, in their 40s, and wealthy. Customers that shop in the retail stores might have the body shape that is average or “common,” as the case study states. This is due to the catalog carrying larger and more petite sizes. b) By catalog

Eddie Bauer uses their catalog as main marketing tool. They would use it to attain new customers, inspire customers to visit the local retail store, and to generate direct sales. Customers that purchase items from the catalog can be distinguished for a couple of reasons. First, the customers might be of older age than the majority of the retail shoppers. The older generations like to shop from the catalog due to them not having to leave their home to shop and not deal with the stress involved in dealing with mall crowds. Also, the customers that purchase from the catalog might not have the typical body shape but love Eddie Bauer clothing. The catalog is the only place customers can purchase clothing in sizes that are more petite and large. The third characteristic that distinguishes catalog shoppers from the retail shoppers is the retail store’s stock levels of...
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