Coldwater Creek To Liquidate, Close All 360+ Locations
Coldwater Creek, a specialty retailer of women’s apparel, jewelry and accessories, filed a Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy reorganization petition and announced plans to wind-down its operations.
The Idaho-based firm operates 334 premium retail stores, 31 factory outlet stores and seven day spa locations throughout the U.S.
As of the filing, the firm employed 339 full and part-time employees in their corporate headquarters in Sandpoint and 5,571 full and part-time employees in its retail stores, spas, design center, call center and distribution center.
Coldwater Creek is seeking bankruptcy court approval to hire Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners to conduct chain-wide store closing sales and liquidate inventory, property and leases. Store closing sales are expected to occur prior to the Mother’s Day weekend, which historically is a peak sales time for the firm.
The news was not a major shock for retail analysts who had been watching the chain struggle through the recession, said Garrick Brown, research director for Terranomics.
“After unsuccessfully seeking a potential buyer as early as late last year, they had been out trying to find additional financing to deal with their looming debt issues,” Brown said. “Sadly, there were no knights in shining armor riding to their rescue.”
Coldwater Creek was a retailer with a decidedly mid-America, middle class clientele and had been dealing with the one-two punch of their target consumers having downsized and a strong encroachment of e-commerce, Brown noted.
“Knowing bad news is coming certainly doesn’t lessen the blow,” he said. “This is clearly bad news for landlords.”
Coldwater Creek stores generally range between 4,500 and 7,000 square feet. Assuming an average size of 5,750 square feet, this comes out to about 2.2 million square feet of space coming back to market.
“Outlet centers will be fine-most will backfill this space quickly. Trophy malls will do the same. It is Class B and C locations and weaker lifestyle centers that might face a challenge,” Brown said.