Coldwater Creek to close store in downtown Seattle
Coldwater Creek's departure from the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street follows the closure last week of a Cartier jewelry store at the nearby Pacific Place mall.
Seattle Times business reporter
Coldwater Creek, a women's clothier based in Sandpoint, Idaho, plans to close a large store in Seattle at the end of next week, becoming perhaps the most visible sign yet of the recession's impact on the downtown shopping district.
Coldwater Creek's lease expires next month after 10 years, a saleswoman said, and a clearance sale started Tuesday.
Linda Jacobson, 65, of Poulsbo, bought a black fleece jacket at Coldwater Creek's downtown store Wednesday for $10, a deep discount from its original price of "$30 something," she said. A regular visitor to Seattle, Jacobson considers Coldwater Creek a favorite place to shop.
The store's closure "is too bad," she said. "I prefer downtown to the malls, and I like having things like this here."
Its departure from the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street follows the closure last week of a Cartier jewelry store at the nearby Pacific Place mall.
Empty stores have become more common as consumers snap their wallets shut amid high unemployment. Clothier J.Jill, sportswear retailer Adidas and drugstore chain Rite Aid also have closed stores nearby.
Holiday shops and temporary kiosks recently shut down as they usually do in January, though their departures only amplify the feeling that vacancies downtown are no longer are rare.
"Two years ago, if you had a corner on the market in downtown Seattle, you'd have three or four people bidding on it," said Art Wahl, a real-estate broker focused on the retail sector for CB Richard Ellis in Seattle.
"Now, maybe you'd have one or two people looking at it. But they're very concerned about cost, and they're either going to make a good deal for themselves or no deal at all," he added. "They're reluctant to stick their neck out unless they're 100 percent sure it's the right thing to do at the right time at the right price."
The closure affects about two dozen employees, who have been offered the chance to transfer to another store locally, the saleswoman said. She declined to give her name because she did not have corporate clearance to talk to the press. Attempts to reach a corporate official Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Coldwater Creek has eight additional stores in Washington state, including Bellevue Square, Kent Station and Alderwood. Its downtown store is on two floors covering an estimated 13,000 square feet, more than twice as much space as the chain now looks for in a new location.
Other retail tenants at the Fifth & Pine building include Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Sephora. Metzler North America bought the mixed-use building on behalf of a German investment fund from Pine Street Development in 2005.
The corner was home to a Nordstrom store before it moved to its current location at the former Frederick & Nelson space in 1998 as part of the development of Pacific Place.
Wahl called it "simply one of the best corners in the whole city — a wonderful property with a terrific location." Even so, said Wahl, "to the best of my knowledge, there's no replacement" for Coldwater Creek.
"It's been on the market for about a year," said Wahl, who is not involved in the building's leasing efforts. "It will rent. It's just one of those things where it's a big space in not a great" economy.
Coldwater Creek, which targets women 35 years and older, said last year it thinks it can grow to between 500 and 550 stores nationwide, up from 356 in November, though it held new openings to 10 in fiscal 2009, citing the difficult economy.
For the three months ended Oct. 31, the company posted a $34 million loss, despite a 17 percent increase in sales from a year ago to $266.7 million.
Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or email@example.com.
Seattle Times business reporter Eric Pryne and financial columnist Jon Talton contributed to this report.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
(Courtesy of LeMay — America's Car Museum) New LeMay exhibit to look at NASCAR LeMay — America's Car Museum in Tacoma will look at the wil...
Post a comment