Columbia Sportswear Company announced its intention to construct a new footwear distribution center in Henderson County, Kentucky. This will be Columbia's second U.S.-based distribution center. The Company expects the construction of the distribution center to begin in Fall 2003 with operations commencing in 2005.

“The construction of this new facility underscores Columbia's commitment to our growing footwear business and our continued dedication to customer service,” said Tim Boyle, Columbia's president and chief executive officer. “We have identified the Midwest and East Coast as key regions where cold weather outdoor activities requiring inclement weather footwear are consistently popular, and where the Company can continue to grow its active, outdoor and authentic brand image.”

From 1998 to 2002, direct net sales for the Company's footwear line in the United States increased at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 24 percent.

The new facility will be approximately 428,000 square feet and will be used primarily for the distribution of Columbia and Sorel-brand footwear lines. The Company estimates that the total costs of the project will be approximately $40 million, including the cost of the 68 acre site.

The new Kentucky facility will enable cost-effective, two-day product delivery to Columbia's East coast and Midwest customers, an area representing approximately 70% of Columbia's footwear business. Columbia currently distributes footwear and apparel from its 829,000 square foot, Portland, Oregon- based facility.

“We are pleased with the outcome of our search for a new site and look forward to working with the people of Kentucky on this exciting project,” said Boyle.

Columbia estimates that the facility will need approximately 90 employees during the first year of operation. PerloMcCormackPacific of Portland, Oregon (involved in previous Columbia building projects) has been selected as the general contractor for the facility.