Coldwater Creek Announces Succession of CEO, Strengthening of Merchant Team
- Dennis Pence, Co-Founder, to retire as CEO effective December 31, 2012
- Jill Brown Dean, President and Chief Merchant, to assume leadership of the Company as CEO
- Michele Martin joins the Company as General Merchandise Manager
SANDPOINT, Idaho, Nov. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coldwater Creek Inc. (Nasdaq: CWTR) today announced that its Co-founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Pence, will retire as Chief Executive Officer of Coldwater Creek effective December 31, 2012.
Commensurate with this announcement, the Coldwater Creek Board of Directors appointed the Company's President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Jill Brown Dean, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Coldwater Creek, effective January 1, 2013.
Mr. Pence commented, "It gives me great satisfaction to announce today the succession of Jill to the role of CEO. Her outstanding leadership, combined with her intimate knowledge of our customer and our brand, gives me great confidence in her ability to continue to lead the turnaround of our company, positioning us for a vibrant and successful second chapter in our history. In the last two and a half years, we have recruited a management team that has the skills and determination needed to execute to success, and Jill's future role in leading this team will ensure the best possible results going forward. I join my fellow Directors in congratulating her on her well-deserved promotion."
Jill Dean, Coldwater Creek's new President and Chief Executive Officer, joined Coldwater Creek in February 2011, as President and Chief Merchandising Officer. Ms. Dean has over 25 years of retail and merchandising experience in the specialty retail sector. Prior to joining Coldwater Creek, she served as President of the Limited Too division of Tween Brands from October 2006 to April 2008. Prior to Tween Brands, Ms. Dean spent 18 years in various merchandising leadership roles with Limited Brands including serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lane Bryant division from 1994 to 2001.
"I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead the Coldwater Creek team," said Ms. Dean. "The leadership team we have in place is well qualified to take Coldwater Creek forward, and we are committed to meeting the needs of our shareholders, customers, and employees. I have total confidence in the Company's ability to execute our on-going strategic initiatives, and I look forward to leading the organization to continued success. I also wish to express my appreciation to Dennis and the other Directors for the confidence they have shown in me."
The Company also announced today that Jill Dean has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2013. Dennis Pence will remain as a Director and continue to serve as Chairman of the Board until January 1, 2014.
Coldwater Creek today also announced that Michele Donnan Martin would join the Company as Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager. In this role, she will be responsible for leading all product merchandising functions for Coldwater Creek and will report to Ms. Dean. Michele brings over 25 years of specialty retail merchandising and design experience to Coldwater Creek. Prior to joining the Company, she was the Brand President, Retail and Direct at Delia's. Ms. Martin has also held various merchandising leadership positions at American Eagle, Williams Sonoma, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew and Macy's.
Ms. Dean commented, "We are extremely pleased to welcome Michele Martin to the Coldwater Creek team. Michele joins us at an important point in the Company's history. She is a seasoned merchant with extensive retail experience and a proven track record of success in developing and building consumer brands, and I am confident she will successfully build on the product foundation we have created in the past two years."
Coldwater Creek is a leading specialty retailer of women's apparel, gifts, jewelry, and accessories that was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Company sells its merchandise through premium retail stores across the country, online at www.coldwatercreek.com and through its catalogs.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION:
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the securities laws, including statements about the Company's expectations about its prospects for long-term growth. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties, risks and assumptions that may not fully materialize or may prove incorrect. As a result, our actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:
- the inherent difficulty in forecasting consumer buying and retail traffic patterns and trends, which continue to be erratic and are affected by factors beyond our control, such as significant weather events, current macroeconomic conditions, high unemployment, continuing heavy promotional activity in the specialty retail marketplace, and competitive conditions and the possibility that because of lower than expected customer response, or because of competitive pricing pressures, we may be required to sell merchandise at lower than expected margins, or at a loss;
- potential inability to attract and retain key personnel;
- our new design aesthetic may take longer to implement than expected or may not resonate with our customers;
- difficulties in forecasting consumer demand for our merchandise as a result of changing fashion trends and consumer preferences;
- changing business and economic conditions resulting in our inability to realize our sales and earnings expectations;
- our potential inability to recover the substantial fixed costs of our retail store base due to sluggish sales, which may result in impairment charges;
- our potential inability to maintain compliance with debt covenants;
- delays we may encounter in sourcing merchandise from our foreign and domestic vendors, including the possibility our vendors may not extend us credit on acceptable terms, and the potential inability of our vendors to finance production of the goods we order or meet our production needs due to raw material or labor shortages;
- our foreign sourcing strategy may not lead to reduction of our sourcing costs or improvement in our margins;
- increasing competition from discount retailers and companies that have introduced concepts or products similar to ours;
- marketing initiatives may not be successful in improving the breadth of our customer base or increasing traffic in the near term, or at all;
- difficulties encountered in anticipating and managing customer returns and the possibility that customer returns may be greater than expected;
- the inherent difficulties in catalog management, for which we incur substantial costs prior to mailing that we may not be able to recover, and the possibility of unanticipated increases in mailing and printing costs;
- unexpected costs or problems associated with our efforts to manage the complexities of our multi-channel business model, including our efforts to maintain our information systems;
- our revolving line of credit may not be fully available due to borrowing base and other limitations;
- the benefits expected from our merchandising and design initiatives may not be achieved or may take longer to achieve than we expect;
- the actual number and timing of planned store closures depends on a number of factors that cannot be predicted, including among other things the future performance of our individual stores and negotiations with our landlords;
and such other factors as are discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. We do not assume any obligation to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events or changes in our expectations after the date of this release.