From Catalogs to Stores to Spas for Coldwater Creek

In addition to clothing and accessorizing women, Sandpoint, ID-based Coldwater Creek wants to enhance their physical beauty as well. The apparel merchant plans to open six Coldwater Creek Spas in spring 2006.

The spas will be located throughout the country and will be adjacent to or near existing Coldwater Creek stores. They will offer a complete selection of treatments including massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures. They will also carry an assortment of the company’s sports apparel and personal-care products.

Dennis Pence, chairman/CEO of Coldwater Creek, said in a release that the idea of opening day spas received positive feedback from focus groups. “We believe the day spa concept creates excellent potential for us to cross-market Coldwater Creek retail stores and Coldwater Creek Spa to increase traffic for both concepts and generate transactions in both directions,” he said.

Larry Oskin, president of Fairfax, VA-based salon marketing consultancy Marketing Solutions, believes Coldwater Creek Spa could be successful, so long as the company is aware of potential staffing and merchandising problems. “In a retail store, people want to buy products. In a salon or day spa, people want to buy services,” Oskin says. Customer service is, if anything, even more important in the day spa industry than in the retail market.

Location is a critical factor too, Oskin says. A day spa doesn’t need to be in a shopping center but it must be convenient. Most spas, he says, attract only people who live or work within a five-mile radius.

Coldwater Creek will evaluate, test, and refine the spa concept based on customer response. The company operates 174 stores, has a customer e-mail list of more than 2.6 million addresses, and will mail approximately 110 million catalogs in fiscal 2005.

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