Coldwater Creek files for bankruptcy protection - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Coldwater Creek files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

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Coldwater Creek Inc. announced April 11 the company and all of its U.S. subsidiaries have filed for bankruptcy protection. 

The company said in a press release it filed "voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, in order to facilitate an orderly wind-down of its operations."

Coldwater Creek's stores and website currently remain open for business. However, the company expects to commence sales to liquidate its inventory by early May. In West Virginia, Coldwater Creek has a retail store located in the Charleston Town Center Mall as well as a distribution center in Mineral Wells.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said the Coldwater Creek distribution center in Wood County is a state-of-the-art, modern facility he hopes the area will utilize.

He said the county and city officials are optimistic the building will be filled soon.

"Those employees will be out of a job – if it's 300 or 30 jobs it's never good news," Newell said. "The good news is on the horizon we have other things happening."

Newell said with the oil and gas industry prominent in the state, the county has high hopes of reaping the benefits with the proposed cracker plant going in Wood County.

For now, Newell said the county hopes to use the building to house another great opportunity – but what that is remains unclear for now.

Together with its financial and legal advisors, over the last six months, Coldwater Creek engaged in a thorough analysis of all potential alternatives, including a sale of the company. Ultimately, the company and its advisors were unable to find a potential buyer for the company or a source of capital to provide adequate liquidity to fund the company's ongoing strategic turnaround initiatives. As a result, the company's Board of Directors recently determined that an orderly liquidation of the business would be the best way to maximize value for the benefit of the Company's creditors. The company intends to hold going out of business sales in the coming months, which are historically busy shopping periods for Coldwater Creek.

"First and foremost, we are extremely grateful to all of our associates for 30 years of dedicated service to Coldwater Creek and to the millions of loyal customers who have enjoyed our award winning customer service and beautiful and unique products. Our talented associates continue to impress, performing their duties with professionalism and grace during this period of uncertainty," said Jill Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coldwater Creek. "This difficult decision follows a comprehensive strategic and financial review of the business. The Board of Directors has determined that the actions we are taking represent the best path forward for Coldwater Creek and its stakeholders. 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." She added, "As we begin preparing to wind down our operations, customers should know that our stores and website remain open for business and we will be providing information about the tremendous values that will be available at our inventory clearance sales in the coming weeks."

In conjunction with its Chapter 11 filing, Coldwater Creek has received a commitment for $75 million in "debtor-in-possession" financing from its existing lender, Wells Fargo. Subject to court approval, this financing will be available to support the Company's operations during the wind-down process.

Importantly, and in an effort to maximize creditor recoveries and reduce administrative expenses through a swift and efficient Chapter 11 process and liquidation, Coldwater Creek has reached an agreement with its lenders on a Chapter 11 plan of liquidation that was filed today with the bankruptcy court. The company has also reached an agreement with inventory liquidators, Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC and Hilco Merchant Resources, LLC to manage the company's inventory clearance sales. The plan of liquidation does not contemplate any recovery for holders of the company's common stock. The plan of liquidation and related disclosure statement is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court.