Coldwater Creek flows into Sycamore’s pool of apparel brands

Terms of the purchase weren’t disclosed, but the investment bank says it will eventually re-launch the bankrupt Coldwater Creek brand.

Mark Brohan

Women’s specialty apparel retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. is bankrupt and going out of business, but the e-commerce portion of the business apparently will live on.

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed and the amount paid has yet to be posted in Coldwater Creek’s public bankruptcy documents, but New York investment banking firm Sycamore Partners has purchased the intellectual property assets of Coldwater Creek, No. 174 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Generally, intellectual property assets acquired during bankruptcy include all e-commerce assets such as URLs and any technology and online customer files. Sycamore Partners didn’t say specifically what intellectual property assets it acquired, but does intend to re-launch Coldwater Creek as a direct marketing brand, possibly online and with a catalog. No timetable has been given for any new e-commerce launch of ColdwaterCreek.com. As of this morning, ColdwaterCreek.com was still online and selling any remaining merchandise at discounts up to 70%.

“Coldwater Creek is an outstanding brand with a 30-year heritage and strong support from its loyal base of longtime customers,” says Sycamore managing partner Peter Morrow. “We are excited about adding Coldwater Creek to our growing portfolio of leading retail brands and look forward to reintroducing the brand to the marketplace.”

Sycamore specializes in acquiring apparel retailers and has been busy making acquisitions in the last two years. In December 2013 Sycamore acquired The Jones Group Inc. (No. 200), which owns and operates multiple apparel and accessories brands and e-commerce sites such as NineWest.com, in a deal valued at $2.2 billion, and in June acquired youth apparel chain retailer The Hot Topic Inc. (No. 252) in a deal valued at $600 million.

The acquisition of Coldwater Creek’s intellectual property assets was made by CWC Direct LLC, a Sycamore business unit.

CWC and Sycamore have plans to market Coldwater Creek apparel to buyers of Talbot’s, another women’s retail apparel brand Sycamore acquired in 2102 for the $391 million. In an e-mail last week to Coldwater Creek customers, CWC announced it had acquired certain assets of Coldwater Creek such as its customer file and contact information and previewed some updated joint marketing with Talbot’s. “We have also changed the Coldwater Creek privacy policy, so thatwe can share your personal information with The Talbots Inc, an affiliate of CWC Direct LLC, because we believe that Talbot’s products may be of interest to you,” the company says.

Coldwater Creek, which saw its e-commerce sales decline 8.9% to $152.7 million in 2013, filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in April 2014.



bankruptcy, Coldwater Creek, e-commerce, NineWest.com, Sycamore Partners, The Hot Topic Inc., The Jones Group Inc.