You guys. If ever there were a time to stock up on boxy boucle one-button cardigans and a shoe that's kind of a clog but kind of a sneaker with an appliqued daisy on the toe-box, THAT TIME IS NOW. Because Coldwater Creek, the indefatigable catalog staple of moms everywhere, is officially going out of business.
But on the up-side, moms, everything is about to be on sale.
Coldwater, founded as a catalog business 30 years ago, said it intends to start liquidating inventory just before the May 11 holiday, a peak sales period for the retailer. The company listed assets of $278.5 million and debt of $361.3 million in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The chain said revenue peaked at $1.1 billion in 2006. It expanded from 198 stores in 2005 to 336 locations in 2007 before the global economic downturn stunted its financial success and triggered a series of management changes, according to court filings. Sales at stores open at least a year plunged 17 percent in the quarter ended Nov. 2.
Anyway, it's the end of an era! When I was a kid, I used to spend hours flipping through catalogs at our kitchen counter. I might have liked catalogs more than I liked magazines. And we got SO MANY OF THEM. Coldwater Creek was definitely a staple, because of its ubiquity, and it also earned the distinction of somehow being MORE BORING THAN ORVIS. I love it for that. Bless its little dorky maxi-skirt heart.
Here are the catalogs from my childhood, ranked:
Delia*s > Girlfriends > Alloy > Signals > Wireless > Pyramid Collection > J. Crew > J. Jill > Eddie Bauer > Nordstrom > L.L. Bean > Land's End > Orvis > Coldwater Creek > Harry & David > miscellaneous bulb and seed catalogs > anything with tools or electronics or boring shit like that.
RIP, Coldwater Creek. At least we'll always have J. Jill. (I HOPE.)