Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear Co.
Traded as NASDAQ: COLM
Industry Apparel
Founded 1938 (1938)
Headquarters Washington County, Oregon (near Beaverton),
United States
45°31′46″N 122°49′31″W / 45.52938°N 122.82535°W / 45.52938; -122.82535Coordinates: 45°31′46″N 122°49′31″W / 45.52938°N 122.82535°W / 45.52938; -122.82535
Number of locations
100 (October 2015)[1]
Key people
Gert Boyle
Timothy Boyle
(Chief Executive Officer)
Products Outerwear and sportswear
Revenue US$2.1 billion (2014)[2]
Number of employees
5,326 (2014)[3]
Columbia Sportswear retail store in Hong Kong

Columbia Sportswear Company is a United States company that manufactures and distributes outerwear and sportswear. It was founded in 1938 by Paul Lamfrom, father of present chairperson Gert Boyle. The company is headquartered in Cedar Mill, Oregon, an unincorporated part of Washington County, Oregon, in the Portland metropolitan area near Beaverton. Columbia Sportswear also produces footwear, headgear, camping equipment, skiwear, and outerwear accessories. In 2001, it was the largest American seller of ski apparel.[4]


Columbia Sportswear began as a small, family-owned hat distributor. Present chairwoman Gert Boyle's parents, Paul and Marie Lamfrom, fled Nazi Germany in 1937 and immediately purchased a Portland hat distributorship. They became the Columbia Hat Company, named for the nearby Columbia River. In 1948, Gert married Neal Boyle, who became the head of the company. Frustrations over suppliers influenced the family to start manufacturing their own products. Columbia Hat Company became Columbia Sportswear Company in 1960.[5]

In 1970, Neal Boyle died following a heart attack. Gert and son Tim Boyle, then a University of Oregon senior, took over the operations of Columbia, rescuing it from bankruptcy.

Columbia's jackets feature waterproof fabric that was also breathable. Additionally, new jackets featured interchangeable shells and liners. Multiple wearing options and fabric technology fueled rapid sales growth.

Columbia became a publicly traded company in 1998.[2][6] It acquired footwear maker Sorel Corporation in 2000 and Mountain Hardwear in 2003. In 2006, Columbia acquired the Pacific Trail[7] and Montrail brands.[2][8]

Columbia Sportswear's company headquarters in Washington County, Oregon

In 2001, the company moved its headquarters from Portland to a site in an unincorporated part of Washington County,[9] in the Cedar Mill area and just outside the Beaverton city limits. The site on NW Science Park Drive has a Portland mailing address, but is not in Portland. In 2007, City of Portland officials attempted to convince Columbia Sportswear to move back to Portland,[10] but the company ultimately rejected the idea and said it would expand its existing headquarters instead.[9]

On June 15, 2008, Columbia Sportswear announced a three-year sponsorship of the cycling team formerly known as Team High Road and before that T-Mobile and Team Telekom. The sponsorship began on July 5, 2008 with the start of the Tour de France. The team's name was "Team Columbia". The sponsorship included both the men's and women's teams.[11]

On August 4, 2010, Columbia Sportswear Company signed an agreement to acquire OutDry Technologies S.r.l., which owns the intellectual property and other assets comprising the OutDry brand and related business, via a cash purchase from Nextec S.r.l., based near Milan, Italy. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2010, subject to customary closing conditions, and is not expected to have a material effect on the company's 2010 operating results.[12]

In March 2015, Bryan Timm was named company president, taking over that position from Tim Boyle, who remains CEO.[2]


Columbia's flagship store in downtown Portland, Oregon

Columbia Sportswear distributes its products in more than 72 countries and 13,000 retailers. Columbia also operates its own chain of retail stores, including its flagship store located in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Financial information

As of February 12, 2015, the company's market capitalization is about $4.13 billion, with 2014 net sales of $2.1 billion.[2]

Stock exchanges

Columbia Sportswear Company is publicly traded on NASDAQ with ticker symbol COLM.

See also


  1. Columbia Sportswear Company 2010 Annual Report
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Brettman, Allan (April 10, 2015). "Columbia charts its next billion dollars". The Oregonian. p. C1. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  3. "Columbia Sportswear Company Shareholder Information". Retrieved 2015-03-25.
  4. Senior, Jeanie (November 9, 2001). "Seamless warehouse is a marvel". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  5. "Columbia Milestones". Columbia Sportswear. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  6. Binole, Gina (April 3, 1998). "Columbia goes public in top-of-the-line style". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  7. "Columbia Sportswear now owns Pacific Trail". Portland Business Journal. March 30, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  8. "Columbia Sportswear buys Montrail". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. January 27, 2006. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  9. 1 2 Dworkin, Andy (August 30, 2007). "Columbia Sportswear staying put". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  10. "Columbia's 'tough mother' squashes return rumor". Portland Business Journal. March 3, 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  11. "Columbia Sportswear Announces Sponsorship" (Press release). Team Columbia & High Road Sports, Inc. June 15, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  12. "Columbia Sportswear Company to Acquire OutDry Technologies S.r.l." (Press release). BUSINESS WIRE. August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
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