Coldwater Creek Will Soon Warm-up
Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. filed for Chapter 11 earlier this year. Seeing only decreases in sales since fiscal 2007, the company went private in 2012 and since then has continued to close store locations. Last October Coldwater Creek announced plans to seek strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, but was unable to find a buyer. In May, Coldwater Creek announced it would close all stores by early summer of this year. At the time the Sandpoint, Idaho based retailer had 370 stores and employed about 6,000 people.
Several other U.S. retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection since late last year. Among those to file are women’s clothing retailers Ashley Stewart Holdings and Dots, LLC, along with discount family retailer Loehmann’s Inc. Dots and Loehmann’s have already closed all store locations. These former top retailers have sited declining sales and expiring store leases as reasons for the closures.
Coldwater Creek stores occupy an average 5,900 square feet. When the locations are all closed, over 2 million retail selling square feet will be unoccupied. Similar retailers include Chico’s, Ann Inc., New York & Company, Dress Barn and J. Jill.
New York-based private-equity firm Sycamore Partners has acquired the Coldwater Creek brand. The company intends to re-launch Coldwater Creek as an independent portfolio company. Sycamore Partners’ investment portfolio currently includes Aeropostale, Hot Topic, Jones New York, Nine West Holdings, Stuart Weitzman and Talbots, among others. With new owners in the driver seat, the Coldwater Creek brand is getting a second chance. If you are a Coldwater Creek fan, keep your eyes open for a brand re-launch in the near future.