MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. — Questions about the financial future of Coldwater Creek, the women’s apparel retailer first formed as a catalog company in 1984, continued to swirl Tuesday.

Bloomberg’s Lauren Coleman-Lochner told MetroNews “Talkline” the company was expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy “at any minute,” a move that would likely lead to liquidation.

“There’s always the possibility that some white knight comes forward. It doesn’t happen very often,” Coleman-Lochner said of a possible buyer. “At this point, there’s no one who really would want to rescue the company.”

In addition to stores at the Charleston Town Center Mall and Morgantown’s Suncrest Towne Center, Coldwater Creek also operates its East Coast distribution center along Interstate 77 in Mineral Wells in Wood County.

The site opened in 1999 and a clearance outlet was added during an expansion in 2007.

Depending on the season, between 300 and 800 people have worked at the distribution center. In 2013, Coldwater Creek—which is based in Sandpoint, Idaho—was the 10th-largest private employer in Wood County.

“That’s the No. 1 issue. No matter how many jobs there are right now, that’s always a consideration for us,” said Bob Newell, the mayor of Parkersburg.

As for the distribution center, Newell said the Wood County Development Authority owns the building and leases it to Coldwater Creek.

“The good news is it’s a very high-tech distribution center and, if you have a 500-mile radius around that, it reaches about two-thirds of the population of the country. So it’s a very viable operation and building,” said Newell.

Coleman-Lochner said Coldwater Creek has not been profitable since 2007 and actively started seeking buyers five months ago.  “It’s a fashion-driven business so, if your brand is not considered compelling, then people go elsewhere and, on top of that, consumer spending hasn’t been great,” she said.

If the company liquidates it will be the third clothing chain to do so recently, joining Dots LLC and Loehmann’s.

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Comments

  • Kaye Patterson

    God bless those that will be without jobs! The ladies that work at CWC are always so nice. Sad to see what is happening to our once great country.

  • a would-be-customer

    In the age of Amazon, Coldwater Creek just can't compete. I became a first time customer this week. I ordered several blouses from Coldwater Creek. I was charged $17.95 shipping. The package was supposed to have been delivered on Thursday. It didn't arrive, but there was a note attached to the online tracking saying that the sender had requested UPS to transfer the package to the postal service. Then there was another note saying the postal service couldn't make delivery but had left instructions for me to follow. There were no instructions. So I'm out $200, don't have the clothes I ordered, and learn this morning (Friday) that the company has gone bankrupt. Maybe the inablity to make simple deliveries is part of the problem. When Amazon can do it for free in two days, people begin to expect other companies to measure up. When they don't... there are consequences.

  • barbara creagan

    It is not surprising that CWC is having such problems. I was a devoted customer until they cut corners on quality. decided to cater to the young etc. They forgot their most important customer..the middle age plus clientel who want decent styles and quality clothes at an affordable price. Oh, for the old CWC!

  • April Carlton

    This is very upsetting news for me....I work for an Coldwater Creek outlet in Oregon and where jobs are very few and far between :(

  • someone who worked there

    I worked there for 15yrs... I'm just sad for all of my friends and past co-workers. However they (cwc) would throw that we are closing crap in are faces all the time. What I hate is how they do things always hush hush, play games an never just b streight with us, those are ppl's lives they are playing with... come cwc just b real for once.............js

  • Independent Voter

    You guys that are blaming Obama are laughable. What he took over from the Bush administration was a collapsing economy and failing banks. The economy still hasn't recovered from his failed economic policies of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

    Politics aside. Isn't it possible that the company was mismananged? Just throwing that out there.

    • Ragweed

      Back to the same old tactics - blame Bush.

    • Sure

      How many more years does it take before it stops being Bush's problem and becomes Obama's problem?

      Or how many more years of big democrat government running our lives for us, and taking from the middle class / rich and giving to the poor thing to improve the economy?

  • Seriously

    Reguardless of you political point of views or opinions about the company and or its management.. Keep in mind nothing has been publicly announced. Most importantly there are employees who will be greatly impacted if such a decision is made...

  • ratdog

    Political commentators (of any stripe) on this news thread are morons, need to find constructive lives and keep your ignorance to yourself. One trick ponies one and all...

  • Earl Ray

    Cracker #2, I can see it now!

  • MaryL

    The failure of this company was poor management. I did research and a team presentation on this company when I got my masters degree. This company was started by the now ex-wife of the CEO. He decided he didn't want to be married any more and bought her out. She was the magic to the success of The Creek. Sadly, her buying and marketing skills could not be maintained after she left with her millions ... the products have always been pricey but got much more so after her departure. Now, it's failing ... no surprise here.

    • Bg2009

      Jill dean is the CEO. Not Dennis. Just so you have accurate information.

    • wvrocks

      Very insightful and informative post. Thank you. Of course, you'll still have a hard time convincing many on here that it wasn't "Obama's fault".

      • Debbie Peachtree

        It's very hard not to blame Obama what with the crappy economic conditions that we have had for the past 5 years. It's not like anything he has done has improved the situation.

  • knows

    sure as hell hope truther is jokin if not he must be on crack oh wait maybe it's Meth this is West Virginia

  • Dee

    I lived in the area when Coldwater opened. I said at the time, It would be a matter of time before it closed. Lets bring in Cabala's.

  • Larry

    Isn't there a Macy's distribution center in WV, it'll probably be next...

    • ViennaGuy

      If you are referring to the Macy's distribution center in Martinsburg, it opened in the summer of 2012. I doubt that it will be closed anytime soon.

  • DWL

    The dates you say? It appears the majority of the destruction of business occurred under the governance of a liberal (d) congress and now a m0r0n president, aided by a liberal leftist state governing body.

    • THP

      Great! According to DWL the solution is simple. Put another Bush in the White House, elect a Republican Senate, and a Right Wing government in Charleston and we're all in PARADISE. Why didn't I think of that?

      • Wowbagger

        No more Bushes and no more Clintoons. It's time to move on!

        As to state government, a change from the destructive crony capitalism of the last 82 years just might not hurt.

      • Truther

        This kind of thing is all Reagan's fault. Ronald Reagan's liberal agenda set the country up for all of this. Obama's conservatism is no match for Reagan's legacy of left wing do gooder garbage. He can't fix what Reagan did.

  • Ear Ray

    If this place goes under, I'm putting a cracker in there.

    • Ragweed

      How about putting in a cheez whiz plant too!