NEW YORK CITY—As baby boomers age into its target audience, Coldwater Creek will continue its expansion despite an economic slowdown, executives said at the Thomas Weisel Partners Consumer Conference 2007 here.

The chain, now with 260 stores, has the potential to be a 450- to 500-store chain, said Melvin Dick, executive VP and outgoing CFO.

“Forty percent of American women are between the ages of 30 and 60,” Dick said. “The baby boomers are aging into our sweet spot.”

Competition is limited, he added, for chains serving women 45 and older.

“We’ve been serving this customer for over 20 years,” Dick said. “We understand her, her needs and her lifestyle. If something dramatic happened with the economy, we could slow down [expansion]. But we have no plans to do so.”

That confidence comes in the face of declining foot traffic due to macroeconomic issues, though a healthy conversion rate has kept sales strong, said Georgia Shonk-Simmons, co-president and chief merchandising officer.

The company continues to test its spa concept, which now has nine units, but thus far has not posted a profit. It will not open any more units, and will evaluate its viability sometime in 2008, Dick said.

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