COLUMBIA PLANS PURCHASE OF OREGON HEADQUARTERS

Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — Having outgrown its headquarters in Portland, Ore., Columbia Sportswear Co. signed a letter of intent to purchase a site that would more than double its current space.
The outdoor-apparel and footwear giant plans to purchase a 188,500-square-foot complex, located in a suburb of Portland, from ADC Telecommunications Inc.
The purchase is contingent upon due diligence, which includes a review of zoning, engineering and environmental studies.
Financial terms of the deal have not been determined.
Columbia moved into its current space in 1962, according to Tim Boyle, president and chief executive officer. To facilitate growth, it later leased space across the street from the main complex and currently operates approximately 90,000 square feet.
“We have outgrown the facility here,” said Boyle. “We need more showrooms and workrooms for our merchandising teams.”
Approximately 375 employees who work at the company’s corporate headquarters will be affected by the move. Another 325 employees work at the company’s remote distribution plant in Oregon.
Boyle noted that Columbia will initially lease back the space to ADC if the deal is completed.
Columbia recently returned its balance sheet to the black in its second quarter ended June 30. Earnings for the second quarter were $3.6 million, or 14 cents a diluted share, against a loss of $238,00 in the year-ago quarter.
Columbia also named Justin Knapp to the newly created position of retail marketing manager.
Knapp, who was most recently with Adidas as its concept-shop program manager, will manage all aspects of Columbia’s global visual marketing and merchandising, including concept shops, field services, point-of-purchase and brand enhancements. He will also oversee trade shows for the company and report directly to Dan Hanson, director of marketing communications.
In a phone interview, Knapp said that Columbia plans to increase its in-store shops from 245 to 300 by the end of the year. He will also oversee growing Columbia’s focus areas at retail from 200 to 320 by the end of the year.
“We are trying to develop a better presence with new channels of distribution, specifically in department stores,” Knapp said.
Knapp also noted that the company plans to expand its team by adding a new point-of-purchase program manager.

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