Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fashion Over 50 Takes A Hit: Coldwater Creek to Close

I suspect most everyone has heard that Coldwater Creek has filed for Chapter 11 protection. I was running around the city all day on Friday and kept getting texts about it from friends--even my husband wrote me! They knew I'm a Creek shopper and wanted to make sure I knew about the company's "going out of business" sale. Right now, Coldwater Creek is offering 40% off its entire site, including its 2014 spring-summer collection. For example, the Coldwater Creek Classic Shaping Bootcut White Jeans (above), originally $79.99, are now $24.99. It’s a great time to replenish your wardrobe. I also like to think by shopping at the Creek, you're showing support for a clothing company that has offered stylish, flattering clothes for women over 50 for many years.

Saturday morning, I went online and found an email message from Creek’s CEO Jill Dean. “It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that we have determined that the business is not sustainable,” she wrote. “And over the next several months Coldwater Creek will begin to liquidate all of our business operations.”

The closing of Coldwater Creek saddens me on two levels. First, it saddens me that I won’t have the Creek to turn to when I need something new. Since turning 50, I've been a huge fan of the clothier. Whenever I shop at its Manhattan store or online, I always find stylish, comfortable clothing. The garments are well-made and moderately price—something I can’t say about a lot of clothing companies.

In this crazy youth-oriented culture of ours, the Creek is a place I can go and know that I’ll find dresses and skirts hemmed around the knees, like the Coldwater Creek Crystal Pleats Dot Multicolor Skirt (was $99.95, now $32.99) below. There is always a large selection of fitted tops and roomy tunics as well as slacks for every figure. And the Creek doesn't shy away from offering Petite and Plus sizes.

In short, it has been a great shopping destination for us—women over 50. And that brings me to the second reason the closing of Coldwater Creek saddens me. It feels like we’re being shown once again that the fashion needs of women over 50 aren’t worth investing it. The Creek filed for Chapter 11 protection after failing to find a potential buyer or a source of capital to help it stay on its feet. Okay, I don’t think the company ever said it was targeting women over 50. However, any store that offers well-made, moderately priced, stylish, yet age-appropriate clothing for real women is going to appeal to women over 50. Did that turn off potential buyers and investors? I hope not. 

I'd love to know...

Will you miss Coldwater Creek?

Coldwater Creek