Coldwater Creek Narrows Q3 Loss; Names New CEO

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Seeing Red: Color chat on Coldwater Creek’s blogsite

Sandpoint, ID—Improved cost controls and stronger comparable store sales helped Coldwater Creek Inc., narrow its third quarter loss on Wednesday.

For the quarter ended Oct. 27, the women’s specialty retailer posted a net loss of $20.5 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $29.2 million, or $1.24 a share. Excluding a loss on derivative liability, the company posted an adjusted loss of 45 cents.

Total revenue edged up 0.4% to $188.1 million ahead of analysts’ estimate for $181 million. Retail segment sales, the biggest contributor to its revenue, increased 2.2% to $147 million with a 7.3% increase in comparable store sales.

The report was better than Coldwater Creek predicted in August: comp sales to be flat to down low single digits.

Founder Dennis Pence to Retire

Gross margin widened to 35.1% from 30%, as input costs dropped by 7%.

In an effort to reverse quarterly losses and sales declines it has experienced in the last two years, Coldwater Creek has been managing inventories more closely and costs in order to increase margins.

For its fourth quarter, the company forecast an adjusted per-share loss of 55 cents to 65 cents a share. Analysts’ consensus expects a loss of 50 cents.

In other news on Wednesday, Coldwater Creek announced that Dennis Pence, its founder and chief executive, will retire, effective Dec. 31. Jill Brown Dean, president and chief merchant, will become the new chief executive.

Dean, who has more than 25 years of specialty retail and merchandising experience, served as president of the Limited Too division of Tween Brands from October 2006 to April 2008. Dean will also serve on the board of directors.

Pence will remain as a director and continue to serve as chairman of the board until Jan. 1, 2014.

Coldwater Creek also announced that Michele Donnan Martin would join as senior vice president, general merchandise manager.



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