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CWTR to file Bk in week, $0.18 area

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the cork   Monday, 03/31/14 02:09:39 PM
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CWTR to file Bk in week, $0.18 area
(special thanks to sludgehound)

Women's retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy- court protection within about a week as it contends with a high debt load, declining sales and broader industry struggles, people familiar with the matter said.

Coldwater Creek , known for its catalogs selling a variety of women's clothes and accessories as well as mall-based retail stores, has struggled for months. Attempts to avoid a bankruptcy filing by refinancing debt or selling itself to a private-equity buyer were ultimately unsuccessful, these people said.

The company's postbankruptcy strategy isn't clear. Coldwater Creek carries about $353 million in total debt, which includes about $180 million in current liabilities, according to its most recent earnings filing.

In addition to its catalog business and retail stores, Coldwater Creek operates factory stores, an e-commerce business and seven spas in the U.S., according to its website.

The company, which is publicly traded but partially owned by private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital , posted sales of about $155 million for the quarter ended Nov. 2, 2013 , compared with $188 million in the year-earlier period, according to its most recent filing.

Coldwater Creek's struggles mirror those of the broader retail sector. Many retailers posted underwhelming holiday sales, and some face severe distress.

Brookstone Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming days, with plans to be sold to another specialty retailer. In March, plus-size women's retailer Ashley Stewart Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection. Women's clothing retailer Dots LLC filed for bankruptcy in January, and about a month earlier discount retailer Loehmann's Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection and is now shutting down its stores.

Write to Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com and Dana Mattioli at dana.mattioli@wsj.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
03-31-14 1233ET
Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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