SBD/Issue 181/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Columbia Sportswear To Launch Its First E-Commerce Site In July

Columbia Plans To Incorporate E-Commerce
Kiosks Into Several Of Its Retail Stores
Columbia Sportswear will launch its "first e-commerce site" in mid-July, according to Erik Siemers of the PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL. The move is "part of the company's strategy to expand beyond its history as a wholesaler, selling goods only to other retailers, to incorporate its own retail identity." Columbia last month awarded Massachusetts-based Demandware Inc. a contract to develop the site at Columbia.com. The company "intends to incorporate e-commerce kiosks into several of its bricks-and-mortar retail stores." Columbia in January announced its '09 "expansion plans would largely be put on hold, with some exceptions," however, the e-commerce site is "proceeding as planned." Columbia's Web site, which has been in use for "more than a decade," currently "doesn't sell any of its products." Instead, it "provides direct links to Columbia items sold on other store Web sites, such as Dick's Sporting Goods or Sports Authority." Siemers notes the move "toward an e-commerce model comes with risks, particularly if the move alienates some of its historic retail partners." Columbia -- " which will remain primarily a wholesale business -- believes the e-commerce development will help it extend its brand awareness" (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/5 issue).

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