25 stores by Columbia Sportswear in India by April 2015

columbiaUS-based outdoor and adventure wear retailer Columbia Sportswear Company will open 25 stores by April 2015 in India against an earlier plan of 5 stores, as the demand for products has exceeded its expectations.

Columbia Sportswear Company, which entered India through a distribution tie-up with Chogori India Retail Ltd, opened its first store on December 24, 2013, and at present it has three stores in the country.

“Earlier, we had planned to open 3-5 stores in the first year and depending on the off-take, we would plan further expansion. But, that 3-5 store plan has changed to 25 stores plan. We will have 25 stores by April 15. We will expand very fast in India,” Chogori India Retail Ltd vice president, Khyati Bhinde said.

On the expansion strategy, she said the company plans to open up to 120 point of sales, exclusive store and shop-in-shop store in three years in India. It will open shop-in-shop stores by October next year in select multi-brand departmental stores like Shoppers Stop.

About the demand for its products, Bhinde said: “When we were bringing in the brand, we thought outdoor (activities) doesn’t exist much in India, people might not know Columbia. But after opening our first store, we came to know that people understand outdoor and also know the brand. We have received very good response for the brand.”

At present, 90 per cent of products are imported and the rest are manufactured in India. “If share of lifestyle products in total sales grows, the company might look at more local manufacturing,” she added.

Columbia Sportswear, which sells outdoor apparel, footwear and accessories in India, also plans to introduce high-performance outdoor gears in the country.

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