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Columbia Sportswear SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52681653| May 2020| 15 pages

COMPANY PROFILE -Columbia Sportswear

Business Sector :Sportswear

Operating Geography :United States, North America

About Columbia Sportswear :

Columbia Sportswear is a global outdoor brand based in Portland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1938 by Paul Lamfrom, it started as a small hat manufacturer named as Columbia Hat Company. But then it eventually passed to his daughter Gert Boyle who is actually considered Columbia’s founder with her “Tough Mother” persona living in the brand. Over these 82 years, Columbia has gradually shifted from hats to outerwear, sportswear and footwear along with other outerwear accessories like headgear, camping equipment, ski apparel and so on and sells the products in approximately 90 countries. It employs around 8900 full time and part time employees at the start of 2020.

Columbia Sportswear strives to make its products better than perfect and the high standards that it maintains has remained its USP or unique selling proposition. Its motto remains:” It’s perfect, now make it better”. Its strong belief in innovation for everyone makes their products unique and strong enough to be tested multiple times before handing over to the customers. Columbia Sportswear’s mission statement reads “to be more than a leader in the global lifestyle industry and connect active people with their passion”.

Columbia Sportswear Revenue :

$3,042 million -as of 31st Dec 2019
$2,802 million -as of 31st Dec 2018

Competitive Analysis of Columbia Sportswear

The SWOT analysis for Columbia Sportswear is presented below in a table followed by the detailed analysis report.
1. Strong, innovative and unique brand portfolio
2. Diversified geographic, channel and category sales mix
3. Positive brand image and awareness among customers
4. Increasing sales and profit over years
1. Heavy dependence on a limited number of suppliers
2. Reliance on contract manufacturers with no long-term commitments
1. Collections inspired from Hollywood characters and movies
2. Increasing population moving outdoors and towards nature
3. Estimated growth of global outdoor market
1. US increasing tariff on Chinese imported goods
2. Global apparel industry – an increasingly competitive business
3. Increasing counterfeit reproduction would hamper the sales and reputation
4. Shifts in retail consumer purchasing patterns
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Columbia Sportswear


1. Strong, innovative and unique brand portfolio: Columbia sportswear has a strong portfolio of well-known brands. The 4 brands are Columbia, Sorel, prAna and Mountain Hardwear. All the products under these brands are known for their quality, innovation and performance. Columbia Sportswear is deeply committed to design innovative products and all its research and development efforts are guided towards developing new, functional gear for outdoor enthusiasts around the world. It works with experts of diverse fields like chemistry, engineering, industrial design, and other related fields along with its internal specialists which helped it to create award-winning technologies like Omni-Shade, Omni-Freeze, OutDry Extreme etc. All the product designing is done keeping in mind the consumer feedback so that the products which are developed are able to meet the needs of the consumer.

2. Diversified geographic, channel and category sales mix: Columbia Sportswear is one of the largest outdoor and active lifestyle apparel and outwear companies in the world. It provides its offerings in wide range of locations through multiple channels. Its operating geography is mainly classified into 4 regions: US, Latin America and Asia Pacific (LAAP), Europe and Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Canada. Each geographic segment predominantly works in one industry: design, sourcing, marketing, distribution etc. In all the regions the products are sold through a mix of wholesale customers and through own DTC business. In the US the products are offered through a mix of around 2920 wholesale customers and DTC business. In addition to this the channel mix here includes around 122 outlet retail stores, 21 branded retail stores and 4 brand specific e-commerce sites. Similarly, the LAAP region consists of around 400 wholesale customers including distributors and EMEA region has 3810 and Canada has 650 of them.

3. Positive brand image and awareness among customers: Columbia sportswear has wide brand recognition. It has been quite successful in maintaining and enhancing the brand image. It works to build and maintain the consumers’ and customers’ connection to the brand which has helped it to create strong awareness and long-term relationship with the customers essential for the success of the business. Increasing use of social media and online advertising campaigns have also played an important role in increasing the awareness among the new generation customers. Special jackets from Columbia's stable were highly popular and rapidly flew off shelves; they featured breathable waterproof fabric and interchangeable shells and liners. Columbia’s ability to adapt itself to continuously changing media environment has also helped it to remain ahead in the race. It also rightly connects with the consumer sentiment by highlighting its sustainability policies and related design, sourcing and operations designs.

The remaining section of “Strength” is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


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Major Competitors :

  • The North Face
  • Nike
  • Tilly’s
  • Under Armour
  • Patagonia

Major Brands :

  • Columbia
  • Mountain Hardwear
  • prAna
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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies

References used in Columbia Sportswear Analysis Report

1. Embracing the Elements: Columbia Reveals a Limited-Edition “Disney Frozen 2” Collection -
2. 5 Consumer Trends Impacting Outdoor Marketing -
3. Retail May Be Sinking, but Outdoor Apparel Is Killing It -
4. Columbia Sportswear CEO Doesn’t See China as a ‘Bad Entity’ -
The detailed complete set of references are available on request in the 'Complete report' on purchase.

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Columbia Sportswear SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & PESTLE.COM

SWOT & (2020). Columbia Sportswear SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May, 2020].

In-text: (SWOT &, 2020)

Copyrights and Disclaimer

Columbia Sportswear SWOT & PESTLE analysis has been conducted by Sushree Lasyamayee and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

Copyright of Columbia Sportswear SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions and Disclaimer for usage guidelines.

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