Columbia Sportswear Makes Huge Investment In Retail

It requires diligence to sift through all the negative business news these days in order to find some positive news, but I have done so today, at least this once.
Portland’s Columbia Sportswear, in business since 1938, is busy executing a retail expansion plan that will result in almost two dozen new stores in high-profile locations by the end of 2009.
On Friday Columbia opens a new store inside the Portland airport that will draw customers from the 25,000 people a day that walk by its doors. According to MarketWatch, the company will celebrate the opening of its new airport store with charitable donations to Conservation Alliance and Oregon Wild, plus an in-store appearance by professional dog-sled racer and “Columbia Pioneer” Rachael Scdoris.
Kerry Barnes, vice president for retail, said the company will also open a 16,000-square-foot store at Minnesota’s Mall of America on Nov. 21st; an 18,000-square-foot store in downtown Seattle on Dec. 5th; and a 12,000 square-foot-store on Chicago’s celebrated Michigan Avenue next August or September. In all, Columbia expects to open 21 stores in 2009, 15 outlet stores and six branded stores.
With $1.3 billion in sales, Columbia distributes its namesake brand as well as Mountain Hardwear, Pacific Trail, Sorel and Montrail products to 14,000 retailers in about 100 countries. More than 40 percent of sales come from outside the U.S.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.