Coldwater Creek to shut stores as sales drop

Sep 5, 2011

A Northwest brand is finding women's apparel and jewelry a tough sell in the current economy. Idaho-based Coldwater Creek has announced it will close dozens of stores in the face of a 28 percent drop in sales.

Coldwater Creek has branded itself as a classic western clothing maker in its catalog and retail shops. But fewer people are buying. The company posted a loss of $27 million last quarter.

Coldwater Creek's chairman and CEO, Dennis Pence, says he will not to receive an annual salary. And the company plans to close between 35 and 45 under-performing stores.

But Kate McAllister thinks Coldwater Creek has enough brand loyalty to weather the economy. McAllister is the head of the Chamber of Commerce in Sandpoint, Idaho, where Pence and his wife started Coldwater Creek in 1984.

"Is it cataclysmic? No," McAllister says. "I believe that everybody goes through growth pains and at a certain point you need to change things up."

Coldwater Creek has announced it may change things up as soon as this fall. The company recently hired new merchandising and creative officers, and says it plans to launch a revamped product line.

On the Web:

Coldwater Creek press release

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