Columbia Sportwear is Bringing it European E-Commerce Business In-House

Columbia Sportswear is working to increase its e-commerce traffic and conversion rates. And this fall the company is working with Mountain Hardwear to target retail and wholesale consumers. The results are bearing fruit as shoppers have begun to increasing connect with the retailer through social media.
“We remain focused on the things we can control including strengthening our brands, bringing innovative products to market, and driving consumer demands with compelling marketing and in-store and online experiences,” said Timothy P. Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear on a recent earning call with analysts. “Our strong balance sheet provides us with the flexibility to invest behind our strategic initiatives to improve our operating platforms and drive profitability while our strong cash flow enables us to steadily enhance returns to shareholders demonstrated by the 6% dividend increase we announced today, marking our ninth increase since we began paying a dividend in 2006.”
On the operational front, Columbia Sportswear will open four outlets and two partner stores in Europe this year. The company is also making investments to migrate the Columbia and SOREL brand e-commerce business in-house in 10 European countries during the first quarter of 2017.
“We expect that transition to drive incremental revenue growth, enhance the consumer experience and improve our online marketing capabilities, and effectiveness while leveraging our existing European infrastructure,” said Boyle.
The retailer anticipates its Europe-direct business, to continue to grow at a 20% rate and the European team has been focused on improving the profitability. “We're confident that Europe holds great potential for additional growth and profitability in the years ahead. The Columbia brand also drove mid-teen constant currency growth in China including strong wholesale and e-commerce sales,” said Boyle. “Our team in China is focused on improving the productivity of our distribution channels to position the joint venture for a strong finish to the year and for continued growth in 2017.”
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