Women's apparel, footwear and accessories multi-channel retailer, Coldwater Creek Inc, on Wednesday posted a narrower-than-expected second quarter loss on the back of higher sales and better cost control.

The Idaho-based company posted a net loss for the quarter ended August 2 of $1.4 million, or six cents a share, versus a net loss of $2.1m, or nine cents a share, in the year-ago period.

The per-share amount is adjusted for a three-for-two stock split declared on August 4.

Net sales climbed 4.9 per cent to $96.7m from $92.1m with sales at its retail segment up 44 per cent to $40.6m from $28.2m, but direct segment sales, which include printed catalogues and e-commerce, down 12.3 per cent to $56.1m, from $64m.

"Our better-than-anticipated results were due to a combination of continued solid performance in retail stores and ongoing improvements in our cost structure," said Dennis Pence, chairman and CEO.

"We opened four additional full-line retail stores during the quarter, and based on positive customer response to our merchandise assortment in the store setting, we now plan to increase our openings by two additional full-line retail stores this fiscal year, for a total of 66 full-line retail stores in operation by the holiday season."

The firm sees third quarter net sales of $138m to $143m and earnings of 23 to 24 cents, with fourth quarter sales seen in the range of $180m to $185m and earnings of 18 to 19 cents per share.

For the full year, it sees net sales up between five and seven per cent to $525m to $538m and earnings per share of 42 to 46 cents.