Columbia Sportswear Company announced that effective May 1, 2008, all sales, marketing and service functions for Montrail Inc. will be realigned under the management team of Mountain Hardwear Inc. Montrail product sourcing functions will remain under Columbia Sportswear corporate management in Portland, Oregon and US product distribution and shipping will continue to be processed through the companys Kentucky facility.
Mike Wallenfels, president of Mountain Hardwear, will be responsible for overseeing operations of the Montrail brand from Mountain Hardwears Richmond, California offices. “The Montrail brand is a natural extension of Mountain Hardwears growing performance apparel categories and both brands will work together to share retailers, athletes, events and promotions,” Wallenfels said. “We share similar target consumers in elite outdoor athletes and others seeking superior performance products. The move is designed to better align the two brands and streamline operations by maximizing marketing resources for long-term success. We believe that our reputation for retailer service and marketing will help make this an easy transition.”
“We see this as an ideal marriage of two specialty brands,” said Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear. “The Mountain Hardwear customer and the Montrail customer are often the same and the management team at Mountain Hardwear knows that demographic very well. By moving Montrail under Mountain Hardwears leadership we can best serve our retailers while keeping a focus on creating innovative products.”
Mountain Hardwear and Columbia Sportswear will work together on product direction and development using the established Montrail footwear team in the Columbia Sportswear headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Mountain Hardwear and Montrail already share resources for international sales management in key markets such as Europe, South Korea and Canada and this change will help consolidate and streamline their efforts. Service and sales operations will formally transition after May 1, 2008. Retailers will be contacted directly regarding details at that time.
Columbia Sportswear acquired Montrail in 2006 and Mountain Hardwear in 2003.