Financial Reports: Coldwater, Gap, Talbots

Coldwater Creek Narrows its Losses

Coldwater Creek reported a loss of $1.3 million for the third quarter, compared to a loss of $6.2 million for the quarter of 2007. Net sales were $228.5 million, compared with $271.2 million last year. Same-store sales declined 20.5%.

Coldwater’s net loss for the first three quarters of 2008 was $7.4 million, compared with a net income of $14.5 million for the same period last year. Net sales for this period were $741 million, compared to $805.9 million in 2007.

Daniel Griesemer, president/CEO of Coldwater Creek, said in a release that the company narrowed its losses in the third quarter due to “better than anticipated cost saving measures across a number of areas.” He said these cost saving measures resulted in third-quarter performance “that exceeded our revised guidance.”

Profits Up 3.4% at Gap

The Gap, which owns the Old Navy and Banana Republic brands, reported that third-quarter sales increased $246 million, up 3.4% over the $238 million reported in the third quarter of 2007.

Net sales were $3.6 billion, compared with $3.9 billion last year. Same store sales decreased 12%.

The company’s online sales increased 15%, to $284 million, compared with $247 million for the third quarter of 2007. The company says it expects 2008 online sales to surpass $1 billion.

Talbots Posts Third-Quarter Loss

The Talbots reported a third quarter loss of $14.8 million compared to last year’s third quarter loss of $900,000.

Total sales were $357 million, down from $414 million for the period in 2007. Retail sales were $303 million, compared to $345 million last year. Same store sales declined 13.9%.

Direct sales, including catalog and Internet, were $54 million, compared to $69 million last year. This is in part because Talbots shifted its main holiday gift catalog mailing from October to November to try to boost fourth quarter direct sales.

Trudy F. Sullivan, president/CEO of Talbots, said in a release that although the company had tried to reinvigorate its brand and marketing efforts, “this was not enough to offset a steep decline in consumer traffic and spending that we and most others across our entire industry have experienced.”

The Talbots recently decided to sell its J. Jill brand – plus it recently completed its closing of its Talbots Kids, Mens and U.K. operations. The company has activated lines of credit from Mizuho Corporate Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. valued at $75 million and $50 million, respectively. Talbots also says it is in negotiations with other lender banks.

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