20 May Columbia Sportswear To Reopen 30 U.S. Stores With An Eye On Safety And Helping Communities
Columbia Sportswear Co. will reopen 30 Columbia branded stores in ten states on Friday, May 15, 2020, bringing back more than 250 of its furloughed retail workers.
All stores will prioritize a safe environment for customers and employees. Among steps being taken are requiring face coverings for employees, adjusting store layouts for social distancing and delaying the restocking of clothes tried on in fitting rooms for 24 hours. In addition, employees will clean high touch points regularly and cashiers will wear gloves.
This reopening of 30 stores follows its first successful reopening of a Columbia branded store in Nebraska last week and brings the total number of U.S. stores reopened to 31.
Although COVID-19 forced the company to shutter its stores across the U.S. and worldwide, its e-commerce business has continued. The U.S. distribution centers and call center have largely remained operational throughout this period to serve the growing online business at Columbia.com, as well as CSC’s other brands: mountainhardwear.com; SOREL.com; and Prana.com.
“We are excited to be opening our stores, helping our consumers gear up to head outdoors, and welcoming our retail employees back to work,” said Tim Boyle, the company’s chairman, president, and CEO. “I want to thank our distribution center and call center employees who came to work every day under difficult circumstances. We could not have kept our online business working without them.”
The company is also mindful of the hardships and burdens COVID-19 placed on individuals and communities. As the company opens its stores, it will launch a checkout charity campaign to help fund relief efforts in the communities where it operates.
The campaign is part of the company’s ongoing community outreach, which also included giving outdoor clothing to frontline staff at Providence Health and other select healthcare organizations in ten states and the District of Columbia. The company delivered Columbia rain and fleece jackets along with cold-weather gear from Mountain Hardwear to healthcare workers in several states. This gear will help keep frontline workers protected from the weather as they support drive-through testing sites and other essential work for their communities.
The company expects to continue opening its U.S. stores during the coming months with guidance from state and local authorities and communities, after ensuring that stringent health and safety standards can be met.
“We still have a long way to go with COVID-19,” said Boyle. “Opening stores, enjoying the great outdoors, and helping each other shows there is light at the end of the tunnel and that we are truly tougher together.”
The company’s brands include Columbia, Soffe, Prana and Mountain Hardwear.