Columbia Sportswear enters India;

The second largest outdoor and adventure retailer in the world in terms of revenues and, the largest in terms of volumes, Columbia Sportswear, has entered India with the launch of its first flagship store here in New Delhi. The 1938 found and Portland, Oregon headquartered brand has tied up with Chogori India Retail Limited(CIRL) for an exclusive retailing and distribution partnership in the country.

CIRL was formed in the year 2000 by Hemant Sachdev, an avid hiker, climber and outdoorsman himself. The company currently acts as distributor and retailer for Columbia Sportswear and exclusive retailer for the Colorado-based footwear brand, Crocs. CIRL claims to have introduced Crocs footwear in the Indian market and is the exclusive retail partner for the brand in India.

Earlier in August when the Columbia Sportswear-CIRL partnership culminated, Tim Boyle, President and CEO, Columbia Footwear was quoted as saying: “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. 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.”

Under the agreement, the latter will open exclusive brand stores for Columbia and will make the brand available at multi-brand outlets, large format retails and e-commerce platforms.

While, the company’s first flagship store Delhi has launched on 24th December, other stores would soon follow suit in the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore and Leh in the first two quarters of 2014.
The goal for the partnership between the two companies is to break into a largely untapped and unorganized active outdoor wear market in India, which is growing at a phenomenal rate.

According to market research data, the Indian sportswear market is growing at an annual rate of 33-35 % and is estimated at around Rs 36,000 crore of total worth as of 2013.

The NASDAQ-listed Columbia Sportswear uses cutting edge technology to develop innovative products that are comfortable, protective, functional and stylish. Some of Columbia’s ground-breaking technologies include Omni Freeze Zero, Omni Heat Thermal Reflective, Omni Dry and Omni Tech, amongst a host of others. The extensive product line up from the brand includes a wide variety of competitively priced apparels, including tops & bottoms ranging from Rs 1,099 to Rs 4,999 and jackets from Rs 2,999 to Rs 12,999.


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