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Outdoor-clothing Chain Files For Bankruptcy Protection

The company has been struggling to repay its debt. The falloff came as Eddie Bauer was attempting to pull off what would have been a multi-year turnaround. The retailer said stores, catalog business and Web sites would continue operating, and they will honor all customer gift cards, returns, and their points program.

According to our 2009 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, Eddie Bauer was edged out of 1st place by J. Crew, whose ascension was largely aided and abetted by the patronage of Michele Obama.

On the marketing side of things, Eddie Bauer recently celebrated a new line called "First Ascent," outfitting two mountaineers as they took on a climb of Mount Everest. On the financial side of things, there are plans in place to sell the company for $202 million to CCMP Capital Advisors.

A judge needs to approve the sale, and other potential bidders could still emerge.