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Coldwater Creek files bankruptcy, to liquidate


Sandpoint, Idaho -- Coldwater Creek Inc. on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with plans to close its stores and wind down operations by early summer.

“This difficult decision follows a comprehensive strategic and financial review of the business. While we are extremely disappointed with this outcome, the company's declining liquidity position and the challenging retail environment, together with the fact that we have exhausted all other possibilities, requires that we take this action,” stated Jill Dean, CEO, Coldwater Creek, which, at the end of its most recent quarter, operated 343 stores, 36 factory outlets, and seven spas.

The retailer said it expects to start inventory clearance sales in May and has reached an agreement with inventory liquidators Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources to manage its clearances.

In October, Coldwater Creek said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale. But the company and its advisers were unable to find a buyer.

Coldwater Creek has struggled in recent years amid tepid consumer spending and fashions that didn’t resonate with customers. It hadn't posted a quarterly profit since second quarter 2010. Same-store sales fell 17% in its most recently completed quarter, ended Nov. 2.

In conjunction with its bankruptcy filing, Coldwater Creek has received a commitment for $75 million in "debtor-in-possession" financing from its existing lender, Wells Fargo. Subject to court approval, the financing will be available to support the Company's operations during the wind-down process.

The company listed assets of $278.5 million and liabilities of $361.3 million, according to its Chapter 11 petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del.

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