(Adds plans to close, employees, financial data, bylines)
By Supriya Kurane and Jonathan Stempel
April 11 (Reuters) - Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to go out of business after failing to find a buyer.
Coldwater Creek joins other retailers to seek protection from creditors in recent months as consumers keep a lid on spending.
The company said it plans to wind down its operations over the coming months and begin going-out-of-business sales in early May, before the traditionally busy Mother’s Day weekend.
Coldwater Creek said it has 365 stores and employs about 6,000 people.
“While we are extremely disappointed with this outcome, the company’s declining liquidity position and the challenging retail environment, together with the fact that we have exhausted all other possibilities, requires that we take this action,” Chief Executive Jill Dean said in a statement.
The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company has assets of $278.5 million and liabilities of $361.3 million, according to its Chapter 11 petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Several U.S. retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection since late last year as consumers curb spending and visit malls less often.
Among those to file are pizza chain Sbarro LLC, and women’s clothing retailers Ashley Stewart Holdings Inc, Dots LLC and Loehmann’s Inc. Dots and Loehmann’s which have also decided to close.
Coldwater Creek was founded in 1984 as a catalog-based marketer. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of retail performance, plunged 16.8 percent in the third quarter ended Nov. 2.
The company had in October announced plans to seek strategic alternatives, including a possible sale, and solicited more than 75 parties for proposals.
“Having been unsuccessful despite their Herculean efforts and in the face of sustained weak business performance, the debtors have concluded (that) a liquidation through Chapter 11 is their most appropriate remaining option,” Chief Financial Officer James Bell said in a court filing.
Coldwater Creek said it received a $75 million debtor-in-possession financing commitment from Wells Fargo & Co, a current lender. The liquidators Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and Hilco Merchant Resources will manage the clearance sales.
Coldwater Creek shares closed at 19 cents on Thursday. Shareholders are expected to receive nothing in the bankruptcy.
The case is In re: Coldwater Creek Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 14-10867. (Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Sofina Mirza-Reid)