Coldwater Creek retailer files bankruptcy, will close stores

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Women's clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer said it plans to close its stores by early summer.

Coldwater Creek joins other retailers to seek protection from creditors in recent months as consumers keep a lid on spending.


The company said it plans to wind down its operations over the coming months and begin going-out-of-business sales in early May, before the traditionally busy Mother's Day weekend.

Coldwater Creek, which has 365 stores and employs about 6,000 people, has five stores in Maryland. Stores are located at Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole, Hunt Valley Towne Center, The Mall in Columbia and malls in Frederick and Hagerstown.


"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," Chief Executive Jill Dean said in a statement.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company has 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, Delaware.

Several U.S. retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection since late last year as consumers curb spending and visit malls less often. Among those to file are pizza chain Sbarro LLC, and women's clothing retailers Ashley Stewart Holdings Inc, Dots LLC and Loehmann's Inc. Dots and Loehmann's which have also decided to close.

Coldwater Creek was founded in 1984 as a catalog-based marketer. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of retail performance, plunged 16.8 percent in the third quarter ended Nov. 2.