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Coldwater Creek Reborn in $12.2 Million Deal

More than a month after it appeared Coldwater Creek was shuttering its retail presence for good, it looks like the women’s specialty apparel chain may already be set for a revival.

Newtimes Group, which operates a network of 55 sourcing offices and quality assurance hubs servicing 100+ North American apparel brands, scooped up the inventory and intellectual property assets of the CWC Companies, which includes Coldwater Creek, for $12.2 million at auction.

Newtimes purchased the CWC assets, which include Coldwater Direct, LLC, CWC Direct Parent LLC, CWC Direct LLC and CWC Stores LLC, through an ABC (assignment for the benefit of creditors) proceeding that closed on Sept. 4. As part of the acquisition, Newtimes now has access to Coldwater Creek’s fitting forms and patterns, catalog library, fabric library, patterns library and “best sellers” library.

The newly acquired brand assets will operate under the newly formed Coldwater International company as an independent entity, with Newtimes Group providing sourcing and back office support. Newtimes Group is planning to relaunch the Coldwater Creek website in a few weeks and issue a new Coldwater Creek catalog before the end of the year, according to a company statement.

Newtimes Group offers fabric, product development, design, sourcing, technology and quality control solutions to retailers in North America, South America and Europe. With the majority of the company’s business focused on women’s apparel and accessories, the Coldwater Creek brand seems like it could fit right into the company’s wheelhouse if it is looking to expand to include a retail offering.

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“We have chosen to acquire CWC’s online and catalog business in order to expand and enhance our portfolio of companies. It’s a natural extension of our development, production and technology businesses,” Alex Angelchik, Newtimes Group’s managing director, said in a statement. “We believe in the integrity of the Coldwater Creek brand, which has a long and proven track record of providing stylish and affordable apparel to American women. We are committed to enhancing Coldwater Creek’s quality and design, with the hope of increasing the brand’s appeal to an even larger audience.”

On or about Aug. 7, Newtimes and the assignee within the proceeding, represented by Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, executed a term sheet outlining the terms and conditions under which Newtimes would act as the “stalking horse” bidder to purchase the purchased assets for $8 million. All bids in the auction were to be placed no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on Aug. 24. It is unknown if any other bidders were involved in the auction process.

The CWC Companies were most recently owned and managed by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Founded as a catalog retailer in 1984, The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company grew to a store base of 334 retail locations, 31 factory outlets and seven-day spas when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in April 2014. The business ended up liquidating and Sycamore Partners later acquired its intellectual property assets during a wind-down process in bankruptcy court.

Sycamore, which operates the U.S. and Canadian Staples businesses as well as apparel retailers including Belk, The Limited and Talbots, sought to revive Coldwater Creek as an online-only retailer in November 2014. Catalogs soon followed and Coldwater Creek opened a store in early 2018, its first since Sycamore’s acquisition.

The apparel retailer operated 13 stores as of March, but as the Covid-19 pandemic forced stores to shutter in the short term and ultimately ravaged apparel sales, Coldwater Creek never reopened its physical locations.