The company has a long standing history, beginning in 1920, when it was created by Mister Bauer. He opened his first store, “Eddie Bauer’s Tennis Shop” in downtown Seattle, starting the business by building and repairing tennis rackets. Soon after, he expanded his activities to building golf clubs and fishing tackles. He used his spare time to develop a shuttlecock, which to his surprise enjoyed enormous success, being pivotal to the popularization of badminton in the United States.
Several years later, after developing hypothermia while on a fishing trip, Eddie Bauer tried to find a proper replacement for the heavy and bulky wool garments in use at the time. In 1940, he finally patented a new jacket design, the first quilted goose down-insulated jacket in the United States. The new jacket was a success and soon started selling as “The Skyliner”.
During the Second World War, in 1942, Bauer was commissioned by the United States Army Air Corps to develop a parka designed to keep pilots warm at high altitudes. The result was the “B-9 Flight Parka”, and an order of over 50.000 pieces. The necessities of the war allowed Eddie A�to supply the United States Army with a large number of sleeping bags, backpacks and pants.
In 1945, Bauer started selling woman clothing alongside its men products, and issued his first mail-order catalog.
In the 1950’s Eddie Bauer started a partnership with William Niemi, who will later became the sole CEO of Eddie Bauer, after Eddie and his son will sell their half to Niemi in the 1968.
In 1971, the company was bought by General Mills and the company shifted its focus on casual clothing, while expanding to over 60 stores.
Later, the brand was bought by Spiegel, and in the first year only 39 new Eddie Bauer stores opened.
By 1998, there were over 550 stores in North America, 32 in Japan and 9 in Germany.
Eddie Bauer kept its game up well into the 2000’s with various new collections, promotion or sponsoring various expeditions. Even now they often offer coupons to their customers.