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In this 2009 file photo, a shopper walks past a Coldwater Creek store in downtown Seattle. The women's clothing retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, April 11, 2014, after failing to find a potential buyer or a source of capital to help fund its turnaround efforts.

Elaine Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

Coldwater Creek has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to find a solution to financial woes.

Elaine Thompson • AP,

Coldwater Creek files for bankruptcy, will close all stores nationwide

  • Article by: Jackie Crosby
  • Star Tribune
  • April 11, 2014 - 8:40 PM

Women’s specialty clothing chain Coldwater Creek filed for bankruptcy on Friday and said it will close all of its stores around the country, including 11 in Minnesota.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company plans to time its liquidation sales to coincide with the traditionally busy Mother’s Day weekend.

Coldwater Creek is the latest retailer to seek protection from creditors as consumers continue to manage their household budgets tightly and hold back on discretionary spending. Others to file for bankruptcy include discount chain Loehmann’s, trendy retailer Dots and the plus-sized Ashley Stewart Holdings.

Coldwater Creek announced plans to seek strategic alternatives in October, but failed to find a buyer or source of capital to fund a turnaround effort, according to court documents. The company hasn’t reported a profit since 2006.

“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,” CEO Jill Dean said in a statement.

Coldwater Creek has Twin Cities locations at Eden Prairie Center, the Mall of America, Maple Grove, Rosedale Center, Ridgedale Center and Woodbury Lakes.

Its website lists other Minnesota stores at the Albertville Premium Outlets, Crossroads Center in St. Cloud, River Hills Mall in Mankato, Apache Mall in Rochester and Miller Hill Mall in Duluth.

Coldwater Creek was launched as a catalog company in 1984 and grew to become a chain of 365 stores with about 6,000 employees at the time of its Chapter 11 filing.

One of its competitors was Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks, which long has struggled to find its footing in a crowded field of specialty retailers, particularly in the aftermath of the recession, as women continue to keep a close eye on household budgets.

 

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

© 2014 Star Tribune