Columbia Sportswear’s Columbia brand posted sales of $885.7 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down 8% in constant currency compared to the same period last year.
“While fourth-quarter weather proved challenging, particularly in the U.S., Columbia’s full-year growth reflects the strength of the brand in international markets,” said Columbia CEO Tim Boyle in a conference call with investors.
For the full year of 2023, the brand’s sales totaled $2.95 billion, up 3% in constant currency compared to 2022.
The company is building momentum around its Omni-Heat Infinity assortment, Boyle added.
“Despite a warm winter, Omni-Heat Infinity showed strong growth on the year,” he said. “Omni-Heat Infinity technology continues to draw praise for its lightweight performance and was included in several ‘best of’ lists from Outside magazine and Men’s Health.”
Boyle called out Columbia’s Arch Rock Double Wall Elite jacket winning a 2024 travel award from Good Housekeeping magazine. He also mentioned Columbia’s collaboration with the Star Wars franchise as generating “significant brand heat.”
The company is forecasting flat sales for the Columbia brand in 2024.
“Despite external pressures, we will not pull back on our innovation pipeline nor our demand creation spending rate,” Boyle said. “We’re seeking opportunities to maximize sales despite retailer cautiousness. The Columbia brand’s vision is to be the No. 1 outdoor brand in the world.”
Targeting Younger Consumers
To grow the brand, Columbia is focusing on bringing in younger consumers, according to Boyle.
“This target consumer craves the purpose-built, high-performing products from brands they know and trust,” he said. “Consumers trust the Columbia brand for its quality, value, and reliability. We want to further emphasize innovation, performance, and style.”
To achieve this and reach new consumers, the company is investing in products, channels, and brand experiences that “fuel their active lifestyles,” Boyle added.
“In the coming seasons, we will be elevating innovation and style with new collections, as well as updates to our most iconic products,” he said. “We’re optimizing our color and style counts to focus our efforts on fewer, more powerful collections.”
In footwear, Boyle called out Columbia’s Newton Ridge hiking boot, the Facet line, and the Peakfreak collections as examples of products that are performing well.
“I also believe our DTC, brick-and-mortar fleet can serve core consumers as well as strengthen brand perception by delivering the best brand experience possible,” he added. “We’re focused on enhancing our assortments and in-store presentations to tell better brand stories and to drive sales.”
From a wholesale perspective, Columbia is focused on enhancing its product assortment and its store retail presentation, Boyle said.
“We are working closely with our best-in-class strategic partners to bring new consumers to the brand as we differentiate the marketplace,” he added. “We will work closely with strategic retail partners to bring new collections to the consumer led by innovation and style.”
Read our report on parent company Columbia Sportswear’s earnings here: Columbia Sportswear Announces Layoffs Due to Market Challenges
Read about how Mountain Hardwear performed in Q4 and the full year of 2023 here.