Columbia Sportswear news mixed: Lose 75 employees, adds 3 new stores

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BIZ REPORT — Portland based Columbia Sportswear announced this month it is laying off 75 employees which is 4% of their workforce.  At the same time Columbia is opening a store at Portland International Airport and also at three other locations in Minneapolis, Seattle and Chicago.

President Tim Boyle stated, “We believe Columbia Sportswear has tremendous long-term growth opportunities.  However, our recently announced 11 percent decline in orders for spring 2009 and our expectation that U.S. market conditions will remain challenging through 2009, make it necessary for us to better align our planned spending with those realities.  We have approached this decision thoughtfully to ensure that we are able to continue investing in our expanding retail store platform and increased marketing.  Although difficult, we believe these actions will ultimately strengthen the company and position us well for when the economy recovers.”