Columbia Sportswear expands to India

Columbia Sportswear expands to India

Columbia Sportswear announced a partnership on Wednesday that will allow the company to sell its products in India for the first time.

Columbia signed an agreement with Chogori India Retail Ltd. (CIRL), based in New Delhi, to serve as the company’s exclusive distributor in India, effective immediately.

“We are pleased to welcome CIRL to our existing base of 26 independent distributors that have been instrumental in establishing Columbia’s brands in more than 70 countries over the past two decades,” Columbia chief executive Tim Boyle said in a statement. “We are confident that CIRL, with more than a decade of experience building consumer brands in India, is well-equipped to compete and make us one of the first U.S.-based outdoor companies to penetrate the world’s second-most-populous country.”

In the same statement, CIRL’s founder Hemant Sachdev said, “Chogori India Retail Ltd. is proud to represent Columbia in India. We look forward to bringing the outstanding performance and quality of Columbia’s products to India’s emerging base of outdoor consumers.”

The news release noted that Sachdev climbed Mount Everest in May.

Columbia has been exploring expanding to the emerging market of India “for some time,” Columbia spokesman Ron Parham told The Oregonian Wednesday.

“There are other U.S. brands that have had some success,” in selling products similar to Columbia’s in India, Parham said.

Chogori India Retail Ltd. was founded in 2000 and acts as distributor and retailer of more than 10 international outdoor brands.

Columbia’s outdoor apparel, footwear and other products are sold in approximately 100 countries. Columbia also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, Montrail and OutDry.

Columbia’s share price on Nasdaq was $63.50 this morning, down 89 cents. It’s 52-week range is $47.72 to $66.69.

— Allan Brettman