Gertrude Boyle is one tough mother. The nonagenarian is the face of leading active outerwear company Columbia Sportswear's "tough mother" ads. Columbia develops, markets, and distributes upscale outdoor wear such as its trademark Bugaboo parka with weatherproof shell that put the company on the map. As well as the Bugaboo, Columbia offers performance apparel, sportswear accessories, and rugged footwear for various outdoor activities. Its key brands are Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, prAna, and Montrail. Founded as a hat company in 1938, Columbia Sportswear is controlled by the Boyle family and run by president and CEO Tim Boyle, son of Gert.
Columbia Sportswear's operations are divided between two product categories: The largest category, apparel, accessories, and equipment, generates some 80% of total revenue. Footwear, including Sorel brand boots, accounted for the rest.
In the US, the sportswear maker operates more than 90 outlet stores, 24 branded retail stores, two employee stores, and five brand-specific e-commerce sites. The company has nearly 120 concession-based, branded, outlet, and shop-in-shop locations in Japan and over 200 additional such stores in Korea. It had a handful of retail stores in Canada, and around 20 outlet and shop-in-shop retail stores, and one branded retail store, in the EMEA region.
Columbia Sportswear's products are sold in North America and over 90 more countries worldwide. The company generates some 65% of its sales in the US, and 20% from its second-largest market, LAAP (Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region). Europe, the Middle East, and Africa account for some 10%, while the remaining +5% comes from Canada.
Sales and Marketing
Columbia's products are primarily sold through 8,500-plus wholesale distributors to specialty outdoor and sporting goods stores and major retail chains. The company also sells directly to consumers through domestic and international banner retail outlets and stores (Columbia-operated and dealer-operated) as well as online. In countries where it does not trade, the Columbia sells to about twenty independent distributors. Almost all of Columbia's items are made in Asia by independent manufacturers.
The company uses a variety of media to market its products, including online advertising and social media sites, TV, and print. It also sponsors events and operates branded and outlet retail stores in high-profile locations.
Columbia Sportswear's sales and profits have been creeping up in recent years thanks to the success of its direct-to-consumer channel, which sells through company-operated retail stores and e-commerce sites.
In fiscal 2016, sales increased 2% to $2.4 billion, with the majority coming from the US direct-to-consumer business. The US wholesale business declined due to customer bankruptcies. Sales in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) climbed 9% or $20 million on the back of strength in the direct business. In the Latin America and Asia-Pacific region, a fall in demand in Korea for outdoor clothing created a product surplus, driving down prices and causing sales to fall $15.5 million.
By brand, sales growth was concentrated in the Columbia brand, up 2% or around $45 million.
Net income was up 10% to $17.6 million due to a higher proportion of higher-margin direct-to-consumer sales.
Cash from operating activities increased from $95.1 million to $275.2 million due to a lower increase in inventory levels.
Columbia Sportswear has strategically expanded its geographic presence and product offerings through acquisitions, alliances, and licensing deals. The company typically acquires or partners with brands that move it into new and complementary consumer categories, especially ones that reduce its dependence on cold-weather products. In 2016, Columbia became the official outdoor apparel supplier for Manchester United Football Club, and the following year became the official outfitter of the UK National Parks' rangers and staff.
In 2015 Columbia expanded into new clothing territory after forming an exclusive licensing agreement with
14375 NW SCIENCE PARK DR
Portland, OR 97229-5418
Phone: 1 (503) 985-4000
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: COLM
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
Chairman: Gertrude Boyle
President, CEO, and Director: Timothy P. Boyle
EVP and COO: Thomas B. Cusick
Employees (This Location): 500
Employees (All Locations): 6,511
Castle Rock, CO
Vero Beach, FL
Michigan City, IN
Birch Run, MI
Tinton Falls, NJ
Central Valley, NY
Deer Park, NY
Niagara Falls, NY
Oklahoma City, OK
Lake Oswego, OR
Lincoln City, OR
Myrtle Beach, SC
Texas City, TX
Park City, UT
Quil Ceda Village, WA
Johnson Creek, WI
Niagara On The Lake, Canada
Taipei City, Taiwan