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Coldwater Creek Shuts Down Six Years After Sycamore Rescue

Women’s specialty apparel chain Coldwater Creek has called it quits after more than three decades.

The seller of classic women’s apparel, footwear and accessories last week was sending out e-mails advertising “70 percent-off” promotions for everything on its site, stating that the clock was ticking down and it was “time to say goodbye.” The promotions ran through July 26, hinting that the end was imminent.

The apparel retailer’s e-commerce site now says, “We’re closed.”

The coronavirus pandemic “led us down a path we were not expecting,” the website read. “Coldwater Creek’s retail locations and website are closed and we are unable to take any orders.” The company is still in the process of filling orders placed on July 26 and earlier.

“Please check back now and then for any updates,” the site said, leaving open the possibility that the business might be resurrected down the road.

Founded as a catalog retailer in 1984, The Sandpoint, Idaho-based firm 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 private equity firm Sycamore Partners later acquired its intellectual property assets during a wind-down process in bankruptcy court.

Sycamore, which on Thursday declined comment on the latest shutdown, relaunched the brand 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 clothing firm operated 13 stores before the mid-March coronavirus shutdown. Coldwater Creek never reopened those stores.

Coldwater Creek was among those in the women’s specialty apparel group that catered to Gen X consumers and their predecessors, including Chico’s, Talbots, which Sycamore also owns, and J.Jill, all of which have struggled in recent years. The customer base had shifted to other online brands before COVID-19, and the impact of the pandemic also has meant fewer apparel purchases as consumers focus more on everyday necessities.