Idaho's struggling Coldwater Creek chain puts itself up for sale

Statesman staffOctober 14, 2013 

Coldwater Creek, Idaho's only publicly traded retail company, hired a new CEO, late in 2012 to succeed founder Dennis Pence, who had returned to run the struggling company but failed to restore it to profitability. Here's a display from the company's store in Boise Towne Square mall.


Facing falling sales, Coldwater Creek Inc., the women's retail clothing chain based in Sandpoint, is putting itself up for sale.

The struggling company said Monday that its board has authorized the evaluation of strategic alternatives to enhance value for stockholders. The board's executive committee intends to consider a range of alternatives, including partnerships, joint ventures or a sale or merger of the company.

The company said its negative retail-sales trend has accelerated. It said its third-quarter earnings will fall below Coldwater Creek's previous estimate despite its cost cutting initiatives and efforts to obtain the most value from its real estate. The company lost $16.4 million during the three months ending Aug. 3 — slightly less severe than the $17.6 million loss in the same dquarter last year.

"As a result of an increasingly challenging retail environment, we are continuing to take the necessary steps towards improving our financial position as well as our long-term prospects as a more competitive and successful company," said President and CEO Jill Dean. "In that regard, we will continue to concentrate on maximizing shareholder value with a relentless focus on driving sales and customer loyalty, as well as prudently right-sizing the business to today's environment."

Coldwater Creek sells women's apparel, jewelry and accessories. Founded in 1984, the company sells through retail stores across the country — including in Boise Towne Square mall — as well as online and through its mobile applications.

Perella Weinberg Partners will help the board evaluate its options. Coldwater Crek says it has no timetable to complete the process "and does not intend to disclose further developments with respect to this process unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or otherwise concludes the review of strategic alternatives."

The company's stock closed Monday at $1.26, two cents above its 52-week low.

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