Is there a big chill running through Coldwater Creek
The retailer disclosed in a Form 8-K filing with the SEC that it has let go 65 employees from its Sandpoint, Idaho; Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Seattle; New York; and international offices. The retailer said these did not include workers in its retail stores, distribution centers, or customer service centers, and it provided severance packages and outplacement services. Coldwater Creek said the move will result in pre-tax savings of $6 million in 2008.
The 8-K was filed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, and there was no related press release to spread the news beyond SEC filings geeks -- at least, none that I could find online -- although news outlets in Sandpoint appeared to have gotten an announcement. (No kidding, seeing that's where Coldwater has its headquarters. Fifty-one of the 65 laid-off employees were from the Sandpoint offices.)
It's no secret that retailers targeting the older female demographic have had a hard time lately. Just look at the 52-week charts for Talbots
The fact that Coldwater didn't go the extra mile in terms of distributing a widespread press announcement doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. And even though the company's set to save money by cutting the jobs, and 65 isn't a whole lot compared to the thousands it employs in retail and customer service, layoffs aren't a bullish sign that things are improving for the retailer (especially in these unnerving times). The tendency to disclose some significant information only through SEC filings has made me a bit antsy about bebe Stores
So, now more than ever, we should all resolve to keep our eyes on our companies' SEC filings. Maybe as times get tougher, more companies will be revealing more interesting, otherwise obscure nuggets within the supposedly dry and boring confines of those filings.
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American Eagle Outfitters is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. bebe Stores is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Try either service free for 30 days. The Motley Fool owns shares of American Eagle.