Columbia Sportswear has cut an undisclosed number of positions at its Portland headquarters through layoffs and voluntary buyouts. Speaking to The Oregonian, Columbia spokesman John Fread said the reduction didn't account for a substantial share of the company's head count, which totals nearly 1,750 in Oregon and nearly 4,000 worldwide. The cuts included all departments — including marketing, design and customer service — over several weeks ending this month, he said.
Fread told the newspaper the company is realigning resources to grow demand for its clothing and footwear overseas. But he also said weak demand for Columbia's products also promoted the move. In late April, Columbia reported first quarter profits fell 23.8%.
“The slow U.S. economy was certainly a factor, but it was not a driver,” said Fread. He declined to say how many employees were laid off or left voluntarily.