Columbia Sportswear Company 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. (Visit this link for additional details.) This reopening of 30 stores follows our first successful reopening of a Columbia branded store in Nebraska last week, and brings our total number of U.S. stores reopened to 31.
Although COVID-19 forced the Company to shutter its stores across the US and the world, 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 US 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.”
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the continued reopening of stores. Forward-looking statements often use words such as "will," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "should," "may" and other words and terms of similar meaning or reference future dates. The Company's expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis; however, each forward-looking statement involves a number of risks and uncertainties, including those set forth in this document, those described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q under the heading "Risk Factors," and those that have been or may be described in other reports filed by the Company, including reports on Form 8-K. Potential risks and uncertainties include those relating to the spread of COVID-19, the severity of the disease, the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, actions that may be taken by governmental authorities to contain the pandemic or to treat its impact, and economic slowdowns that have and may continue to result from the pandemic. The Company cautions that forward-looking statements are inherently less reliable than historical information. The Company does not undertake any duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this document to conform them to actual results or to reflect changes in events, circumstances or its expectations. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for the Company to predict or assess the effects of all such factors or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.