With sales in a swan dive, Coldwater Creek is taking the marketing gloves off, and says it will launch its first-ever TV campaign in an effort to increase store traffic and broaden the chain's appeal among its 45-plus audience.
Themed "Still Got It," the Sandpoint, Idaho-based chain says the seven spots have a "smart, playful and confident message that captures the essence of the brand's shopper."
The ads, from DeVito/Verdi in New York, are running now through the end of the year, and focus on scenarios like a woman deliberating over which dress to wear while her date waits downstairs ("Did they ask Michelangelo what was taking so long with the ceiling?," a voiceover asks), heading to a high school reunion, and the subtle clothing competition that can happen in a night out with the girls.
But the new campaign is just one part of the chain's efforts to get back on track: It will also close up to 45 of its 366 stores. The retailer says sales fell from $253.5 million to $181.4 million in its most recent quarter, and it posted a net loss of $27.7 million, compared with net income of $1.5 million in the same period a year ago.
"While we are disappointed with our second quarter financial results, we had expected the period to be challenging as our summer assortment did not fully reflect our new merchandise direction," Dennis Pence, the chain's chairman/CEO, says in its earnings release. "As we look to the back half of 2011, we will begin to see the collective efforts of our new design and merchandising teams reflected in our fall and holiday offerings, which will be supported by a comprehensive marketing campaign focused on driving traffic and conversion. We believe these actions, combined with our plan to close 35-45 underperforming stores, will allow us to more rapidly return our business to profitability."
Coldwater Creek is not the only Boomer-focused clothing chain to take it on the chin: Talbots just announced a $37.4 million loss for the quarter, and a 9.9% fall in net sales to $271.1 million, compared to $300.7 million in the same period last year.
"As expected, our second quarter results reflect high levels of promotional and markdown activity," Trudy F. Sullivan, president/CEO, says in its earnings release. "While we remain confident in our long-term strategic direction, in the near-term we are focused on delivering a more compelling, balanced merchandise assortment and driving improved top-line sales."
The Hingham, Mass.-based chain also says it is replacing Michael Smaldone, chief creative officer, and that Sullivan will assume creative responsibilities until a replacement is found.