PORTLAND, Ore.-- Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM), a global leader in the active outdoor apparel and footwear industries, announced plans to expand its e-commerce operations to Canada and up to eight key markets across Europe in Fall 2011.
The company plans to launch new e-commerce sites for its flagship Columbia brand, as well as for its rapidly growing Sorel brand, enabling customers in Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Spain, to buy Columbia and Sorel brand products online directly from a company-managed e-commerce site for the first time.
www.columbia.com will offer the broadest selection of Columbia’s innovative, high-performance outdoor products, whilewww.sorel.com will feature a complete assortment of styles that have made Sorel one of today’s hottest global fashion footwear brands.
For customers who prefer to research online and then buy in-store, both sites will offer easy, interactive tools to experience the brand, learn about product features and benefits, and find nearby independent retailers and online retailers that also carry the brands’ products.
“We see e-commerce as an important tool that helps us fulfill our responsibility to build a strong brand for the benefit of customers and all of our business partners,” said Christian Finell, general manager of Columbia’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. “E-Commerce is an essential brand platform that allows us to bring our brands to life and help people find the styles they need to enjoy the outdoors.”
Doug Morse, general manager of Columbia’s Canada operations added, “Our e-commerce platform is designed to perform as much more than a sales vehicle, providing information about our innovative technologies and directing customers to hundreds of leading independent brick-and-mortar and online outdoor retailers that support our brands.”
The company first launched U.S.-only e-commerce sites for the Columbia and Sorel brands in Fall 2009. Those sites have successfully expanded demand across all sales channels by bringing customers closer to the brand, engaging them through dialogue and interactive social networking functionality.
Features will include:
- Full-screen product take-over and zoom
- Product videos
- Product comparison tool
- Multiple ways to filter products
- Ratings and reviews
Customers on both sites will also have the ability to reduce the environmental impact of their order by requesting shipment in a reused cardboard box using A Box Life®, a patent-pending program the company developed and introduced two years ago. Since inception, 66% of shoppers on Columbia’s four branded U.S. e-commerce sites have chosen to have their purchases shipped in a used box. Customers can see where a cardboard box has travelled by scanning a Quick Response (QR) sticker located on the box. Tracking a unique box’s path on www.aboxlife.com provides information such as the number of miles travelled, number of participants and the number of boxes saved. The company also attempts to minimize shipping material waste by using poly bags that are recyclable or reusable.
About Columbia Sportswear
Columbia Sportswear Company is a leading innovator in the global outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment markets. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in more than 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature innovative technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia® brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, and Montrail®. To learn more, please visit the company's websites at www.columbia.com, www.mountainhardwear.com, www.sorel.com, and www.montrail.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding anticipated e-commerce launch dates and functionality. Actual events could differ materially from those projected in these and other forward-looking statements. The company’s expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis; however, each forward-looking statement involves a number of risks and uncertainties, including those set forth in this press release, those described in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other risks and uncertainties that have been or may be described from time to time in other reports filed by the company, including reports on Form 8-K, Form 10-Q and Form 10-K.