Moms of the World, Despair!!! Coldwater Creek Is Going Out of Business

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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.

Via Bloomberg:

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.

If the sale prices get really low, there are some actually kind of workable options at Coldwater Creek. Like, I would wear this, maybe. Or this. Maybe. But not for $99, man. Come on.

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.)


Mel aka kayakgrrl

Random aside about your rankings of childhood catalogs: did you ever get the American Girl catalogs as a kid? Like the old(ish) school 1990s Pleasant Company catalogs, before Mattel bought them out? As you included the non-clothing items at the end, I was surprised to not see it listed. Because that was the best catalog ever, even if I could never hope to get the crazy expensive fun stuff in it.

Disclosure: I did get an AG doll, but that was after drooling on the catalogs for a year or two. AG gifts were reserved for big birthday and holiday gifts, for which I drooled over the catalog for months.

I may have also completely missed the point of this article and catalog love. But Delia*s was also the bomb.