The sportswear brand is preparing for the revival of travel
MANILA – Business has been tough for travel and adventure clothing brand Columbia Sportswear since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as its primary market has been anchored by restrictions on movement.
But as international borders gradually reopen with mitigating infections and increasing vaccinations, the global clothing brand is gearing up for a revival as it sought to tap into the Filipino market.
“As with most businesses, we’ve been hit hard by the pandemic as well. Columbia caters to the adventure travel market. We have products that will protect people and the environment so they can have a better outdoor experience, ”said Tiffany Batungbacal, assistant vice president at Primer Group of Companies, distributor of Columbia Sportswear in the Philippines.
She cited how the lull in travel over the past 2 years has affected sales of her winter clothing. The company has also been careful not to encourage travel to the Philippines to help prevent further infections, she said.
“As much as there is great outdoor potential, we also need to respect and protect local communities. We haven’t encouraged hiking or camping in the Philippines because we want to make sure we don’t potentially bring COVID. to these communities, ”says Batungbacal.
At the height of the pandemic, the company strengthened its e-commerce infrastructure and trained its staff in the digital shift.
“From the start, we identified our priorities – keeping our employees safe, safeguarding as many jobs as possible and preparing for business continuity,” Batungbacal told ABS-CBN News.
With the easing of travel restrictions, Columbia Sportswear is optimistic that business will get back on track soon.
“The last 2 years have been difficult. But despite everything, Filipinos continue to be resilient. We know the environment and the market continue to be volatile, but we hope that as we come together from different industries to fight this pandemic, the Philippines will get back on its feet. We are, after all, Tough Tested, ”said Batungbacal.
This week, the brand launched a new line of thermal clothing technology, Omni-Heat ™ Infinity, which it claims to be “the gold standard for warmth” – just in time for a resurgence in outdoor travel. worldwide.
Columbia’s Omni-Heat ™ Infinity takes pride in its gold-tone metallic lining, which the company says is inspired by reflective technology used by NASA and is “scientifically designed to optimize warmth and breathability.”
This new technology comes in more than 80 styles of jackets, boots and accessories, Columbia said. In the Philippines, Columbia Sportswear products are available online at its official website.