News of the Week: Coldwater, Frederick’s and More

Home fragrance and decor products marketer Blyth reported its total net sales for the quarter ended July 31 increased $27.6 million to $185.5 million. Net sales in Blyth’s catalog and Internet segment, which includes the As We Change, Easy Comfort, Exposures, Miles Kimball, The Home Marketplace and Walter Drake, were $32.9 million, or up 2%.

Women’s apparel merchant Coldwater Creek said it will close about 35 to 45 stores during the next two years, including 15 in fiscal 2011. The retailer’s consolidated net sales for the second quarter ended July 30, were $181.4 million, compared with $253.5 million in the quarter in 2010. Direct segment sales decreased 32.6% to $39.2 million, from $58.1 million in the quarter last year. Coldwater Creek hopes to improve results with merchandise revitalization initiatives and a comprehensive brand marketing strategy—including its first TV ad campaign.

Linda LoRe on Sept. 2 stepped down as president and as a board member of lingerie retailer Frederick’s of Hollywood. LoRe, who joined the cataloger/retailer in 1999, steered Frederick’s through a Chapter 11 reorganization a decade ago and is credited with revitalizing the Frederick’s of Hollywood brand. The company says she will stay with the company until Jan. 20 to help with the transition.

Women’s apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots said its total net sales for the second quarter ended July 30 decreased 9.9% to $271.1 million, compared to $300.7 million in the same period last year. Direct marketing sales decreased 13.6% in the quarter to $43.1 million, compared to $49.9 million in the period in 2010.

Talbots announced Sept. 7 it plans to close about a fifth of its stores (about 110 stores through fiscal 2013), bring in new merchandising and marketing talent and rework its product line to get customers back. Along those lines, Talbots fired chief creative officer Michael Smaldone; CEO Trudy Sullivan will take over creative duties while the retailer seeks a replacement.

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