Spokane Journal of Business

Coldwater Creek adds furniture to its offerings

New catalog for the home prompts positive response from one stock analyst

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Sandpoint, Idaho-based direct-mail retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. has added furniture to its lineup of products through a new catalog, Coldwater Creek Home, which combines the wares featured in the companys Bed & Bath catalog with items for other rooms of the house.

The 68-page first edition of the new catalog was scheduled to arrive at 1.3 million households July 24, says company spokesman Dave Gunter.

Coldwater Creek Home features large furniture such as upholstered chairs and matching ottomans and hardwood bed frames, plus occasional furniture, lamps, rugs, and decorative accessories, as well as merchandise that had been offered in the Bed & Bath catalog, although that title has been discontinued.

This is a springboard from Bed & Bath, Gunter says.

He says the company had considered including furnishings for the entire home when it introduced Bed & Bath in August 1997, but instead opted for the more narrow focus. Coldwater Creek customers had responded favorably to bed and bath products that had appeared earlier in the companys core Northcountry catalog and its Spirit of the West catalog, which focuses on womens apparel.

Gunter says Bed & Baths success was a delightful surprise, and Coldwater Creeks customers seem to be interested in a larger selection of home furnishings. Decorative shelves, occasional tables, and similar items included in the Bed & Bath catalog have sold well, and customers have been inquiring about the availability of other furniture items through Coldwater Creek, he says.

Last week, Coldwater Creek opened a distribution center in West Virginia, but Gunter says orders from its Coldwater Creek Home catalog primarily will be processed and shipped from the companys Sandpoint distribution center, since many of the items in the catalog come from West Coast shippers.

Analyst likes change

Dave Ricci, a Chicago-based analyst at the investment brokerage of William Blair & Co. LLC, already is impressed by the potential of Coldwater Creek Home.

After reviewing an advance copy of the new catalog, Ricci issued a report that says, This new book is highly distinctive and broadens Coldwater Creeks growth potential.

The report says the catalog takes Coldwater Creeks product assortment beyond apparel, jewelry, and gifts, which should expand the companys customer base and help it make more efficient mailings. The report also predicts that the catalogs distinctive collection, with its emphasis on casual American pieces with hints of western and outdoor influences, will help create clarity about what the Coldwater Creek name represents.

Riccis report says Coldwater Creeks stock, which dipped to a 52-week low of slightly more than $9 a share in December and currently is trading at around $20 a share, is poised to continue its turnaround. The report says a newly redesigned Spirit of the West womens catalog that focuses on clothing items that can be used in various combinations should help the company, and so should continued fine-tuning of its mailing procedures and expanded Internet business.

Coldwater Creek was expected to have all the products from its catalogs available on the companys web site in August, but announced last week that the entire product line was available, about a month ahead of schedule, because of keen customer interest in Internet shopping.

  • Anita Burke

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