Eddie Bauer Suspends Match

Like a number of other companies, Eddie Bauer has announced it is suspending its 401(k) match contributions for 2009 to cut costs.

Tom Helton, the company’s senior vice president of human resources, said the company is still considering other ways to seek savings on benefits, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The match suspension is in addition to job cuts and salary freezes.

According to a news release on the company’s Web site, it is eliminating an aggregate 193 positions in the company’s corporate headquarters in Seattle, its information technology center in Chicago, a distribution center in Columbus, and a call center in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The job cuts represent an aggregate of approximately 15% of the non-retail staff.

The announcement said Eddie Bauer is also reducing the size of its Board of Directors and overall board compensation, representing a cash savings of 40% to 50%.

Neil Fiske, president and CEO, has volunteered to reduce his salary by 10% for the remainder of the year.

Eddie Bauer joins other companies suspending their 401(k) match as a cost-cutting measure, including several other retail companies (see “Macy’s Expense Reductions to Include 2009 Match Cuts,” “Saks Suspends 401(k) Match, Drops 1,100 Jobs,” and “Sears Suspends 401(k) Match in Face of Declining Sales“).