The Oregonian made public what many in the outdoor industry had been hearing about for several weeks now -- Columbia Sportswear laid off employees at its Portland, Ore., headquarters. On May 6, SNEWSÂ® learned of an email sent to employees asking for voluntary resignations, which apparently quite a few folks accepted, though the exact number is not known. Columbia began notifying others that they would be laid off beginning on May 9, we were told by insiders.
The layoffs come on the heels of the company announcing last month that its first-quarter profits were down 24 percent and that earnings and sales projections for the rest of the year were likely going to fall below Wall Street expectations. Insiders also told us that softer-than-expected sales domestically for footwear and apparel precipitated the need for cost-cutting and staff reductions.
SNEWSÂ® was told that layoffs were limited to the Columbia headquarters and that Mountain Hardwear, which is experiencing strong sales and growth, is unaffected by staff reductions.