View full sizeColumbia Sportswear Co. knows many consumers consider of a company, to a border they consider of it during all, as a purveyor of toasty hats, coats, gloves, pants, underwear, hosiery and boots. Winter stuff.
Columbia officials don’t wish to shoot that impression.
But they wish to enhance a design to welcome open and summer, too.
Over a weekend, Columbia officials introduced a new attire technology, Omni-Freeze ZERO, it says will help a wearer feel cooler when their physique sweats.
Beginning subsequent spring, Omni-Freeze ZERO will be integrated into 40 products, including men’s and women’s shirts, opening layers, hats, sleeves and other accessories, including “Powerdrain” route shoes. Mountain Hardwear, a high-end outside rigging and attire code owned by Columbia, also will supplement a record to some of a garments.
Omni-Freeze ZERO will change how people understand wardrobe opening in prohibited weather, Woody Blackford, clamp boss of innovation, pronounced in an talk Monday.
“The large split from other cooling technologies we’ve come out with is that this is manifest and it’s flattering intuitive,” Blackford said, adding that a T-shirt with a record would expected sell for about $50.
The association also hopes it turns out to be a essential innovation.
Columbia’s sales and increase tend to be top in a third and fourth buliding — a colder months. In 2011, about 65 percent of a sales and all of a profitability took place in a second half of a year.
Columbia had about $1.69 billion in sales in 2011, adult 14 percent from a 2010 figure of $1.48 billion.
But a Washington County-based association also needs to ready for a continue for a opposite reason.
This year’s amiable winter worldwide took a fee on Columbia. Its initial entertain sales this year, announced in late April, were about a same as 2011.
Chief executive Tim Boyle cited “the slow effects of a comfortable winter globally,” as good as a diseased European marketplace in assessing blame.
Columbia’s products are sole in some-more than 100 countries “and a lot some-more of a countries we sell to are prohibited some-more mostly than they’re cold,” Blackford said.
Not usually that, “if we demeanour around a world,” he said, “certainly things are removing warmer, not cooler.”
Blackford is conduct of Columbia’s 11-member Performance Innovation Team, an bid started about 5 years ago to rise new products.
Blackford helped lead a introduction of Omni-Freeze ZERO this weekend during an eventuality in Sedona, Arizona.
And final summer in San Francisco, Blackford led a introduction of Omni-Freeze ICE, another line of wardrobe that done sweating users feel cool.
The ICE line, that strike a marketplace this spring, differs from ZERO in dual ways, officials said: a active part in ICE wears out after 40 to 50 washings; and it is not visible.
ZERO fabric record relies on a little dots that enclose a cooling properties, association officials say. Columbia found that record that is manifest — with a polka-dot contemplative insulation in coats, for instance — resonates some-more with consumers than embedded improvements.
Mick McCormick, Columbia executive clamp president, pronounced a association did not trust consumers would be confused by a introduction of one cooling fabric this year followed by another next.
“It’s a better, best form of situation,” he said, yet a ICE product would be marketed simply as Omni Freeze.
– Allan Brettman; twitter.com/abrettman