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prAna A Good Fit For Columbia Sportswear

05/01/2014
Columbia Is Down With The Downward Dog

Columbia Is Down With The Downward Dog

prAna, a brand of yoga apparel adored by lithe, free-spirited consumers announced yesterday that it will be acquired by Columbia Sportswear. The purchase, at $190 million, is the largest buy (to date) in Columbia’s acquisition history.

Previous acquisitions: Sorel (purchased out of bankruptcy for $8 million in 2000); Mountain Hardwear (for $36 million in 2003); Montrail (for $15 million in 2006); Pacific Trail (for $20.4 million in 2006); and OutDry (for $16.5 million in 2010).

You’ll hear all the blah, blah, blah about synergies of global sourcing, logistics, etc. – but here’s the real deal (and you heard it here, first!).

  1. There’s Gold In Them Yoga Pants – Lululemon Athletica’s self-inflicted disastrous 2013 has opened the category up to wolves like GAP, VF and Under Armour. Columbia Sportswear can get in the game instantly with prAna
  2. prAna Is A Specialty Brand – Columbia Sportswear like other brands choosing growth via mass merchants has lost favor in the outdoor specialty market. prAna opens those doors again
  3. She Loves prAna – Like most outdoor brands, Columbia Sportswear is strongest in the masculine side of the aisle. As a laboratory for testing – prAna allows Columbia to fine tune it’s women’s ‘game’
  4. Let The Brand’s Run Themselves – When Columbia bought Sorel the brand was known for winter footwear that were clunky ugly. Today Sorel is seen on the hippest feet in Aspen
  5. Here Comes The Sun – Ummm….anybody notice that prAna products are not windproof, waterproof, windchill proof, etc. prAna offers clothing beyond the studio, including dresses, skirts and jackets for women and shirts and pants for men (and swimwear for both sexes). There’s gotta be a counter seasonal opportunity there somewhere!

There you have it.

For Columbia Sportswear the prAna acquisition is a good fit – it’s good for the core brand, a good use of cash and gets them into the yoga fray overnight.

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