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Coldwater Creek cuts work force by 8%

SANDPOINT, ID -In response to its recent slowdown in sales, Coldwater Creek has announced that it will reduce its work force by almost 8 percent, as well as implement other cost-cutting measures.

"As we reported in our release on Feb. 13, the downturn in consumer spending has caused us to revise our expectations downward for the near term," said Georgia Shonk-Simmons, ceo of the woman's apparel, gift and home merchandise multichannel retailer. "Following our robust sales performance over the past 12 months, we entered the important January-February spring selling season with the anticipation of continued strong sales activity, and staffed our call centers and distribution centers accordingly. Quite simply, those early spring sales did not happen this year, and we are adjusting our staff size to a more efficient base to reflect the change in full-price sales."

Staff reductions total 160 employees at three facilities in Idaho and West Virginia. After the reductions, the staff will number 1,930 people. In addition, Shonk-Simmons said that new hires, non-essential travel and internal expenditures are on hold pending increased consumer confidence.

The company currently operates 10 stores with a merchandise mix that includes up to 10 percent home goods.

However, the company's brand-building strategy for opening retail stores nationwide will not be affected, and remains on schedule to roll out 10 to 15 new locations during fiscal 2001.

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