Coldwater’s Direct Sales Sink 30%

Women’s apparel seller Coldwater Creek recorded fourth-quarter net sales of $283.2 million, compared with $345.5 million in the fiscal 2007 fourth quarter.

Sales from the retail segment, which includes the company’s premium retail stores, outlet stores, and day spa locations, were $199.7 million for the quarter ended Jan. 31, vs. $226.3 million in the fiscal 2007 fourth quarter. Same-store sales declined 21.4% in the fourth quarter. Direct sales (phone and Internet) sank 30%, to $83.5 million, compared with $119.3 million in the same period last year.

The cataloger/retailer’s net loss for the three-month period was $18.6 million, compared with a net loss of $17.0 million last year.

Coldwater’s net sales for fiscal 2008 were $1.02 million compared to $1.15 million in the 12 months ended Feb. 2, 2008. Sales from the retail segment were $751.4 million vs. $775.1 million last year. Direct sales fell 27%, to $272.9 million, from $376.4 in fiscal 2007.

During fiscal 2008, catalog circulation decreased 33%, to 86.0 million catalogs from 128.6 million in fiscal 2007. According to the report, the decrease in catalog circulation was primarily due to reduced Northcountry catalog mailings and the discontinuation of Spirit catalog mailings.

Northcountry is the main catalog for the Sandpoint, ID-based merchant. It sells women’s apparel, jewelry, and art. The Spirit catalog, which launched in fall 1993, offers more upscale women’s clothing and jewelry.

Coldwater Creek has slashed its catalog circulation by 48% in the past two years, It mailed128.6 million catalogs in fiscal 2007; 86.0 million in fiscal 2008; and for fiscal 2009 it plans to mail 66.4 million books.

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