Coldwater Creek Cuts Stores, Ramps Up Advertising

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When you have a loss of $27 million in a quarter, things need to change. So Coldwater Creek, a women’s clothing and jewelry purveyor based in Idaho, will be closing between 35 and 45 of its stores, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

It’s so bad that CEO and chairman Dennis Pence, who cofounded the retailer back in 1984 with his wife, Ann, isn’t receiving his annual salary. Not only that, the company is ready to change things up with a strategic overhaul of the business.[more]

Kate McAllister, the head of the Chamber of Commerce in Sandpoint, Idaho, where Coldwater started, doesn’t think the closings are a harbinger of the entire business shutting down. “Is it cataclysmic? No,” McAllister told OPB. “I believe that everybody goes through growth pains and at a certain point you need to change things up.”

Another big change is that the company is using a good chunk of its dollars to invest in national television advertising for the first time, according to a press release. Seven commercials (see the first two above and below) produced by New York agency DeVito/Verdi.

“Emotionally, our target shopper embraces the changes that come with her age, while still looking for silhouettes that reflect her updated fashion sensibility and give her shape. She positively focuses on ways to capitalize on her beauty. What drives her is the feeling that ‘she’s still got IT,'” said Theresa Renaud, account director DeVito/Verdi, in the release.

It may seem odd to ramp up advertising when it will be harder than before for shoppers to find its stores, but it’s part of a bigger reassessment of the brand, as Pence will save the company up to $20 million in annual operating costs (“and return the business to profitability,” he commented) with the retail pullback.

Still, judging by the reaction to a query on its Facebook page about the first two ads here, it’s out of touch with its brand loyalists.

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