Columbia Sportswear Co. confirmed it is buying a building in London, Ontario to house a new Canadian headquarters in a signal of renewed commitment to the Great White North.
Columbia spokesman Ron Parham confirmed the acquisition Tuesday, but declined to discuss terms of the deal. The London (Ont.) Free Press reported that Columbia paid $C26.6 million ($26.3 mm) to acquire the building in Highbury Business Park.
Columbia, which employed 163 in Canada at the end of 2010, is expected to move 120 jobs to the new building, the newspaper reported. Columbia will consolidate a distribution center it leases in nearby Strathroy into one it owns in the same town that ships product to Canadian retailers. The facility owned facility will house administrative and sales staff, a distribution center, and may one day house a retail store.
Columbia generated $116.7 million, or 7.9 percent of its 2010 sales in Canada, which constitutes one of the company’s four geographic segments. Based on estimates of the countries’ 2011 populations, Columbia has per capita sales of about $3.37 in Canada and $2.81 in the United States. Sales in Canada, in 2010 grew 9.6 percent, or about half their growth rate in the United States. The company sells to about 1,300 wholesale dealers in Canada compared to 3,500 in the United States.