Columbia Sportswear Company said it will place all sales, marketing and service functions for Montrail Inc. under the management team of Mountain Hardwear Inc. effective May 1.

Columbia acquired Montrail, a leading trail running and hiking footwear makerin 2006 and acquired Mountain Hardwear Inc. in 2003. 


Mountain Hardwear is well known in the outdoor industry as a leading manufacturer of high-end mountaineering and outdoor equipment, apparel and accessories.  Montrail product sourcing functions will remain under Columbia Sportswear corporate management in Portland, Ore. and US product distribution and shipping will continue to be processed through the company’s Kentucky facility.

Mike Wallenfels, president of Mountain Hardwear, will be responsible for overseeing operations of the Montrail brand from Mountain Hardwear’s Richmond, California offices.

“The Montrail brand is a natural extension of Mountain Hardwear’s 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 Hardwear’s 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.