SANDPOINT, Idaho, — Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday and within months plans to shut down its East Coast distribution center in Wood County and 365 stores nationwide.
Coldwater only has two retail stores in West Virginia—at Town Center Mall in Charleston and the other in Morgantown’s Suncrest Towne Center. But its major impact locally been the distribution center just off of Interstate 77 in Mineral Wells.
Depending on the season, 300 to 800 people have worked at the distribution center. In 2013, Coldwater Creek— based in Sandpoint, Idaho—was the 10th-largest private employer in Wood County.
“That’s the No. 1 issue is, no matter how many jobs there are right now, that’s always a consideration for us,” Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell told MetroNews earlier this week.
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority has provided the Wood County Development Authority loans of $14 million over the years to finance the construction and expansion of the distribution center. Coldwater Creek pays $344,000 a month rent. There is still about $8 million in loans outstanding.
Coldwater Creek’s stores in the U.S. employ about 6,000 employees. The company plans to begin going-out-of-business sales before Mother’s Day.
Chief Executive Jill Dean released a statement Friday:
“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.”
Coldwater Creek hasn’t posted a profit since 2007. It has assets of $278.5 million and liabilities of $361.3 million.
Friday’s announcement marked the second straight day a retailer in West Virginia talked of cutting back. Family Dollar, which has dozens of stores in the Mountain State, said Thursday it planned to close 370 underperforming stores. There was no immediate word regarding how many stores in West Virginia would be impacted.