Retail group Spiegel Inc has asked the bankruptcy court for permission to close 30 of its Eddie Bauer casual clothing stores.

The Illinois-based company, which is operating under Chapter 11, wants to allow independent liquidators to conduct store closing sales in the 30 outlets.

If the request is approved, the stores would operate normally through the holiday season before liquidators, chosen through an auction process, took control.

Due to ongoing real estate negotiations, the list of stores will not be made public until December 30, but it is known that 18 involve natural lease expirations.

Spiegel has already closed 60 Eddie Bauer stores, along with distribution and customer service facilities, since filing for bankruptcy protection in March.