March 9, 2006, 12:00 AM

With a focus on stores, the web’s importance declines at Coldwater Creek

In spite of growing 23.7% last year over the year before, web sales at women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek accounted for a smaller proportion of total sales last year than in the year before.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. continues to pin its growth strategy on stores, as evidenced by the continuing decline in web sales as a proportion of total sales. In spite of growing 23.7% last year over the year before, web sales accounted for a smaller proportion of total sales last year than in the year before.

2005 web sales at Coldwater Creek, No. 50 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, reached $200.6 million, up 23.7% from $162.2 million in 2004. At the same time total sales rose 33.5% to $788.2 million in 2005 from $590.3 million in 2004. In 2005 the web accounted for 25.4% of total sales in 2005, down 8% from 27.5% in 2004.

Overall direct marketing, including catalogs and the Internet, continues to decline as a percent of total sales for Coldwater Creek, which is expanding its network of stores. In 2005, catalogs and the Internet generated combined sales of $328.6 million, an 11.7% increase from sales of $294.1 million in 2004. But direct marketing’s share of total sales fell to 41.7% in 2005 from 49.8% in 2004, the company says.

Coldwater Creek ended 2005 with 174 stores and could add as many as 65 in 2006, the company says. Eventually, Coldwater Creek could have as many as 500 retail locations, said CEO Dennis Pence in a recent presentation to investment bankers and research firms.

 

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