US women's wear retailer Coldwater Creek has lowered its sales and earnings guidance for the third quarter following a recent sales slump.

The company is also reducing its store opening plans for 2009 from 40 to 15 stores in light of what it describes as "current market conditions."

For the third quarter of 2008, the company expects sales of US$225m, reflecting a same-store sales decline in the low 20s.

It also expects to post a loss per share in the quarter of between $0.07 and $0.09.

"Following the recent economic events, we experienced a significant deterioration in our traffic and sales beginning the second weekend in October," said Dan Griesemer, president and chief executive officer of Coldwater Creek.

"Given the unprecedented consumer environment and the difficulty in forecasting future trends, we are also withdrawing our sales and earnings guidance for the fourth quarter."

Coldwater Creek added that it remains confident with its liquidity position and at the end of fiscal 2008 expects total inventory to be down approximately 10% year-on-year, despite adding 43 new stores.

It also expects full-year costs to be down by $50m.