Columbia Sportswear is reassessing its business structure in the Nordics and working on a replacement for its regional manager, due to the departure of Martin Kaggestad at the end of July.
Columbia started taking over its distribution and opening offices in Nordic countries eight years ago, most of them led by sales managers. Kaggestad has been on board since 2012, when Columbia opened a subsidiary in Norway. It previously put an end to a distribution agreement with Portland Norge for the Columbia brand.
As part of his function as Columbia's country manager for the Nordics, Kaggestad serves as country manager for Norway and the sales managers for three other markets report to him – from Claus Mogensen in Denmark to Guy Romi in Finland and Andreas Nygren in Sweden, who was appointed last year.
Kaggestad has grown up in the sports industry since his father brought Nike into Norway. He spent several years at Nike until a switch to Adidas and then a move to the outdoor industry as sales manager for Bergans of Norway.
Sportsbransjen reports that Kaggestad will leave the industry to work for a local trade organization, which should considerably reduce his travel.
While assessing the market situation in the Nordics, Columbia is moving ahead with the opening of a Spanish subsidiary in Barcelona. It has come under the leadership of José Manuel Arrojo, who was previously country manager for Geox, for 14 years until 2014. Other former employers include H&M and Camper, the Spanish footwear brand. Arrojo is reporting to Francesca Busetto, Columbia's head of Southern Europe, who serves as country manager for Italy and supervises Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Columbia had been sold in Spain since the nineties by José Miguel Pérez, who remains on board until the end of June but could not be reached for further details. Columbia said its Spanish subsidiary will operate with a country manager, a key account representatives and a marketing coordinator, along with several agents.
Tradesport reports that the Columbia subsidiary is reportedly covering Spain as well as Portugal, selling the Columbia, Columbia Montrail and Sorel brands. It adds that Columbia's Spanish office is established in the Barcelona area of Sant Just, where it has a permanent showroom of about 400 square meters. The company will lean on complementary regional showrooms in Madrid, Bilbao, Oviedo, Murcia, Lugo and Porto. Somos Deportistas said it remained the Spanish distributor of the Mountain Hardwear brand.
Columbia is one of the brands that will not be taking part in the OutDoor show next month. The company's European management held an event in Chamonix a few days ago with about 100 customers from around Europe.