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Coldwater Creek's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We also expect to improve the sales productivity over existing store base by reducing our footprint. Our objective is to overtime bring the average store size down to approximately 4500 square feet from the current average of 5700 square feet. Jim will further discuss the improvements in productivity we see in this regard.

In regards to our factory outlet stores, for the past 18 months we have been growing the penetration of made for outlet product as part of our strategy to ship the focus of our outlet stores from one that utilizes the channel solely for the clearance of excess product to one that primarily sells made for outlet products. As a result of this initiative, we have seen a significant improvement in the profitability of this channel and believe further improvements are attainable. We believe that our factory outlet stores will contribute meaningfully to overall profitability in the future.

As we begin the third quarter, we are confident that we have a strong trend right offering both in our stores and online. Jill will speak about our fall assortment in more detail in a moment. In the direct channel, we are enhancing our online presence through our website, emails and social communications by adding richer content and developing session and product stories that motivate purchase. We are on-track to launch the next-generation of our mobile app in October. We have redesigned our website navigation, home page and landing page to formats that are easier to shop. Our catalogue has also been updated with the more compelling design, enhanced imagery and creative layout.

We were pleased with our catalogue performance for the first half of 2012, with profitability proved up significantly despite a planned decrease in circulation. This gives us confidence that we can moderately increase our circulation and significantly increase our page counts in the second half of the year. For fall, our catalogue circulation will increase 5% and our page count will increase over 40% as a result of the design and merchandising initiatives to significantly improve the breadth and appeal of our direct product offering. In addition, we have increased our investment in online advertising by 13% which will increase our online brand impressions to over 230 million. We believe that these investments will continue to drive brand awareness and improve traffic both to our stores and our website. Despite these investments, we expect to realize a meaningful year-over-year decline in total marketing expense for the second half of the year.

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