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Bankruptcy forces Wisconsin retail chain to close its doors

Many businesses in Wisconsin are still feeling the crunch of troubling economic times. The cloud of debt ratio and sales potential is a growing dark cloud over small and large businesses alike. A leading women's clothing retailer, Coldwater Creek, Inc., recently announced it will start closing down shop in all of its 365 nation-wide stores. These include seven in Wisconsin.

The company originally found its roots as a catalog shopping experience and currently has 6,000 employees. The retailer, based in Idaho, filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The chief executive officer of Coldwater blames the recession as far back as 2007 as the reason for having to file bankruptcy. While they are "disappointed" with the move, they have explored several options over the last few months, including attempts to deal with sagging sales and financial repercussions that have left them reeling in the last few years. It's prevented them from showing a profit in almost eight years.

Unsuccessful efforts to find a buyer for the struggling company contributed to the decision to file bankruptcy. Coldwater showed the lowest decline in the last fiscal year ending in November, when sales plunged into a decline of 17 percent. They listed debts over $361 million with assets of roughly $279 million.

Coldwell is one of many businesses in Wisconsin to fall into bankruptcy court, reflecting the signs that the nation's economy still hasn't recovered from the recession of 2009.

Coldwater intends to begin to liquidate its inventory in late spring with a target of early summer marking the closure of its facilities. The transfer of merchandise will be managed by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners.

While the nation shows signs of recovery from the devastating economic slump several years ago, many businesses are still struggling with debts outnumbering their assets. In the face of such financial challenges, individuals as well as retailers are still reeling from dire financial straits.

In the wake of troubling economic times, it is necessary to explore all options in business bankruptcy by consulting with informed entities that can help. While major corporations are failing, smaller firms are also facing economic instability and do not see solutions. Businesses, large and small, deserve to find the right solution to move forward and free themselves from corporate creditors.

Source: Biz Journal, "Coldwater Creek closing all stores, including seven in Wisconsin" Mark Harden, Apr. 14, 2014

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