The pandemic forced large apparel brands to close a significant majority of their stores in the US and across the world. Even when things started to ease up, footfalls remained low, and apparel companies faced a tough time. According to one study, the 50 most valuable apparel brands in the world saw their values erode by close to 8% in the year gone by. Companies that were able to adapt to the challenging environment by digitalizing their operations were able to outperform their peers. Investors looking to buy apparel stocks may want to look at the activewear apparel market. It is expected to grow at an 11% CAGR over the next 3-4 years. The market includes giants like Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Nike, Puma, etc.
Columbia Sportswear’s Business Details
Columbia Sportswear began operations in Portland, Oregon, back in 1938. It began as a small distributor and has, over the years, transformed into a leading apparel and activewear brand. The company’s flagship Columbia brand sells outdoor-related products, including apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories. Its brand SOREL is focused more on fashion footwear and accessories for women, men, and youth. Columbia sells climbing, hiking, and mountain-related gear via its Mountain Hard Wear brand. And recently, Columbia acquired prAna. A brand focused on sustainability and fashion. Columbia does business in close to 90 countries, with the US being its largest market. Columbia’s history, heritage, a niche in outdoor-related areas, and strong brand make it a popular name in the industry. Columbia is also among the popular footwear stocks to buy.
Columbia’s stock closed at $106.75 on 12th April 2021. It has been on a steady uptrend over the previous 12 months, gaining almost 50% during that time. The stock was trading a close to 1% dividend yield on 12th April, which seems reasonable for a company that is growing. Since the pandemic-driven crash in March 2020, Columbia Sportswear’s stock has gained about 75%.