Director of Investor Relations
Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia Sportswear Realigns Montrail Brand Management Under Mountain Hardwear Subsidiary
New Alignment Aims to Increase Awareness Among Consumers Seeking Superior Outdoor Performance
PORTLAND, Ore. – February 29, 2008 – Columbia Sportswear Company (Nasdaq: COLM), a global leader in the active outdoor apparel and footwear industries, today announced management and operational changes within the company’s Mountain Hardwear and Montrail subsidiary brands designed to elevate consumer awareness, increase sales and improve efficiency.
Effective May 1, 2008, all sales, marketing and service functions for Montrail Inc., a leading trail running and hiking footwear maker acquired by Columbia in 2006, will be realigned under the management team of Mountain Hardwear Inc., a subsidiary acquired by Columbia in 2003. Mountain Hardwear is well known in the outdoor industry as a leading manufacturer of high-end mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories. Montrail product sourcing functions will remain under Columbia Sportswear corporate management in Portland, Oregon and US product distribution and shipping will continue to be processed through the company’s Kentucky facility.
Mike Wallenfels, president of Mountain Hardwear, will be responsible for overseeing operations of the Montrail brand from Mountain Hardwear’s Richmond, California offices. “The Montrail brand is a natural extension of Mountain Hardwear’s growing performance apparel categories and both brands will work together to share retailers, athletes, events and promotions,” Wallenfels said. “We share similar target consumers in elite outdoor athletes and others seeking superior performance products. The move is designed to better align the two brands and streamline operations by maximizing marketing resources for long-term success. We believe that our reputation for retailer service and marketing will help make this an easy transition.”
“We see this as an ideal marriage of two specialty brands,” said Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear. “The Mountain Hardwear customer and the Montrail customer are often the same and the management team at Mountain Hardwear knows that demographic very well. By moving Montrail under Mountain Hardwear’s leadership we can best serve our retailers while keeping a focus on creating innovative products.”
Mountain Hardwear and Columbia Sportswear will work together on product direction and development using the established Montrail footwear team in the Columbia Sportswear headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Mountain Hardwear and Montrail already share resources for international sales management in key markets such as Europe, South Korea and Canada and this change will help consolidate and streamline their efforts. Service and sales operations will formally transition after May 1, 2008. Retailers will be contacted directly regarding details at that time.
About Columbia Sportswear Company
Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear Company is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel and footwear. As one of the largest outerwear manufacturers in the world and a leading seller of skiwear in the United States, the Company has developed an international reputation for quality, performance, functionality and value. The Company manages a portfolio of outdoor brands including Columbia Sportswear, Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Pacific Trail, and Sorel. To learn more about Columbia, please visit the Company's website at www.columbia.com.
About Mountain Hardwear
Mountain Hardwear makes cutting-edge mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories for the most extreme conditions. Mountain Hardwear was established in 1993 by a group of outdoor industry veterans and is based in Richmond, Calif. The company distributes its products through specialty outdoor and sporting goods retailers in the United States and over 40 countries worldwide. Mountain Hardwear has won numerous product and customer service awards since its inception, reflecting the company’s commitment and passion toward innovation. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Sportswear Company. For more information about Mountain Hardwear, visit the company’s Internet home page at www.mountainhardwear.com.
Established in 1993, Montrail is a premium outdoor footwear brand known for its technical, high performance trail running and hiking footwear for outdoor enthusiasts. Montrail sells footwear to retailers in the United States and in 29 countries worldwide. In 1996, Montrail embarked on a mission to improve the standard for comfort and fit in footwear by creating IntegraFit™, its proprietary fit technology. To learn more about Montrail visit www.montrail.com.