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Coldwater Creek Loss Narrows On Lower Costs

Sandpoint, Idaho Coldwater Creek Inc. on Tuesday reported a smaller loss for its fiscal third quarter, as cost-cutting measures helped counteract weaker sales.

For the three months ended Nov. 1, the company's loss narrowed to $1.3 million compared with a deficit of $6.2 million a year earlier. Sales fell 16% to $228.5 million from $271.2 million. Same-store sale fell 20.5%.

For the quarter, retail sales fell to $175.4 million from $186.3 million, a decline of 6%. Direct sales, or sales made by the phone or Internet, sank 38% to $53 million from $84.9 million.

The company opened 19 stores during the quarter, and has opened eight since the end of the quarter, giving it a total of 349.

Chief executive Daniel Griesemer said Coldwater Creek is not satisfied with its quarterly results, but he believes the company has taken the proper steps to weather a difficult economic period. He said the company is confident that its balance sheet is strong enough to help the company survive reduced spending by consumers.

On Nov. 3, Coldwater Creek cut its third-quarter guidance and said it will open 15 new stores in fiscal 2009, down from an earlier goal of 40 stores. It said the change would cut its fiscal 2009 spending roughly in half.

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