Columbia Sportswear seems to have more and more fun with the growing success of its Sorel brand in Europe. As reported before, the mission is to transform Sorel from purely rugged footwear into something fashionable without surrendering the functionality of the footwear.
In some European markets, Sorel is building up a specific sales force that is separate from the one working the group’s core Columbia brand. For this purpose, Geneviève Couvreur has been recently appointed European sales manager for Sorel, a new position at Columbia’s European operations in Geneva, Switzerland. Couvreur is a veteran of Nike for which she served as key account manager for Foot Locker recently. Accordingly, sales agents have been appointed to exclusively take care of Sorel in certain markets: Mitch Soland is in charge of Austria and Switzerland, while the French market is shared by two agents, Claude Ignasiak (Paris-north) and Wilfried Schaeffer (south-west).
We already reported in the last issue that Columbia has hired Uwe Käthler to cover Germany for Sorel, discharging the local Columbia sales force from selling the brand. In the U.K., Andy Baguley has served as Sorel’s agent for a longer time.