Columbia Sportswear 287 Reviews | Glassdoor

Columbia Sportswear Reviews

Updated February 21, 2017
287 reviews

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287 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Work life balance could be better for the management team (in 8 reviews)

  • Essentially expect 24/7 availability in order to be promoted to full time (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "A good place to retire."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia Sportswear full-time

    Pros

    It's a place where you can stay a long time if you keep your head down and are agreeable. A very stable company financially. Sorel, mountain hardwear, and Prana brands are somewhat independent of the Boyles reach and therefore are much better to work in.

    Cons

    Very little opportunity to grow. Salary increases and moving up are not up to the pace/ standards of comparable companies.
    If you are looking for a dynamic and innovative environment look elsewhere. Very little risk taking under the Columbia brand. The globe is warming and that's a problem for a company so heavily leveraged in jackets.

    Advice to Management

    Changes are needed to show that Columbia isn't a dead end for a career. Offering compensation and work environments that grow careers based on challenging the established norms of business, brand and product. The world is getting fast paced and consumers are seeing through a brand that relys on resurrected ad campaigns and antiquated selling models with MAP pricing and volume. Brick and mortar is dead, work on you brand image internally and externally.


  2. "Part-Time Sales Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    If you like the outdoors, you then are working with peers that also enjoy it

    Cons

    Communication can lack between stores and corporate


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Nepotism and Toadies"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Business Intelligence Analyst in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Senior Business Intelligence Analyst in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia Sportswear full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Food and volleyball. OK wages and benefits.

    Cons

    The place is basically a little fiefdom for the Boyle family. The Boyles run the place with an iron fist and promotions are handed out to the best toadies. The 3rd generation of Boyles is now firmly in place as successors to the 2nd generation. In general, the VPs and Directors are second rate throwaways from Nike, Adidas and other tier one players. The IT department is so backwards I can't even begin to describe the dysfunction. The Human Resources department is like the secret police, they are basically spies for management. The 15 months I worked there as a business intelligence analyst were the most depressing of my 30 year career. Every promise I was given to come work at Columbia was immediately disregarded the moment I started work.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the Boyles and all the senior management team. Nepotism never works.


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  5. "Not horrible for retail work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Riverhead, NY
    Former Employee - Retail Sales Associate in Riverhead, NY

    I worked at Columbia Sportswear part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Columbia has a lot of different technologies in their clothes so when recommending and selling products, you are not forced to make up reasons to persuade customers. You can just match the customer to whatever specific technology that fulfills their needs.

    Cons

    Has the downsides that any other retail store has. Long days on your feet, bits of micromanagement send down by corporate to fulfill, although overall it is not too bad compared to other places.

    Advice to Management

    Managers at Columbia should offer to their floor workers more training to help differentiate between different technologies. Right now, since their are a lot of different conflicting technologies, workers should be told the pros and cons of each one in how to differentiate between them.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Overall great company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia Sportswear part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working here, I felt like management actually cared about how I was doing and offered help when I needed it. They were always there to help us grow.
    Columbia Sportswear makes quality products so the clothes pretty much sold themselves.

    Cons

    Few full time positions, and working on commission sometimes created passive aggressive behavior among the employees.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the lines of communication open between employees and managers/supervisors.


  7. "decent environment in retail, corporate attitude is terrible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate
    Current Employee - Retail Sales Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    fun associates to work with, good store manager, good discount that is sharable with certain people of the employee's choosing, good brand recognition and established customer base, general flexibility with the shift scheduling based on the employee's written availability.

    Depending on the people, it could be a decent part-time job for college students to earn some money.

    Cons

    Corporate sucks! There are a bunch of uptight, negative people in the wrong places through out the company that don't have the educational knowledge and values to be in management positions. There is no clear, consistency in the direction from corporate regarding customer complaints and even corporate people are not consistent with the handling methods at times

    It feels like corporate doesn't value what we associates do, they always feel like they need to suspect us and watch us to make sure we are doing our jobs. Also, micro-managment is wild in this company and corporate always likes to require us to do everything (and would give exact, detailed, step by steps) but never provides the resources and the understanding to do so. They like to assume they know exactly what goes on, on the "front lines" but they absolutely don't have a clue and worst of all, they don't even try to ask around to understand first, before they use their biases to make a judgement. My impression of corporate is that it is full of toxic, unprofessional people that are full of themselves and highly anal about things and they also want us to do everything at once, but would get mad if we even take a second to talk to each other while we are working on tasks.

    Corporate also loves to send the secret shopper to the stores and they come every month, with a detailed rubric. Corporate then uses this particular individual's own opinions and treats them as reality, despite the fact that it doesn't paint the complete picture. They over use this secret shopper tool and it has an adverse effect among the store level employees because it becomes a headache and something for store management to be concerned about. This causes them to make us put more focus on the secret shopper and takes time away from doing everything else that corporate wants us to do, which includes other customers.

    Micro-managment is heavy within this company and its not a good thing. Corporate is really toxic with the way they view us store associates and although my store manager is great, the ASM and floor supervisor are just heavy on micro-management. The floor supervisor doesn't know how to be a good supervisor and he is doesn't have good supervisory skills, but he doesn't let the experienced associates to have room to do the job because he likes to micro -manage. The ASM doesn't care about associates as individuals, moody or rude at times and it feels like we have to be walking on eggshells around her because its hard to say what little dumb thing she will swipe at somebody about. She also lacks a sense of understanding when it comes to getting things done, highly demanding tasks to be done instantly and really difficult to work for. Also, lately, my store management put the restriction on performing stock checks and we must seek permission from them first before attempting to do one for a customer. There is also a sense of double standards and hypocrisy with the ASM, Supervisors and what they expect out of themselves vs associates.

    other cons: no holiday pay for associates for black friday, thanksgiving, labor day shifts but hourly store management gets it, they talk about communication and team work but never allows it to happen, corporate is really cheap with giving store managers the necessary hours to achieve adequate staffing levels because they refuse to provide the budget, despite corporate executives getting all these monetary perks. Highly incompetent, toxic individuals above the Store Manager that promotes a not so pleasant work culture.

    Advice to Management

    provide holiday pay for those associates working during that holiday, improve company culture and attitude that reduces micro-managing, hire smarter when filling regional management, district management and store level management positions, define better processes that create boundaries but not detailed bureaucracy,


  8. "Part time sales"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Pooler, GA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Pooler, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Columbia Sportswear part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive pay, flexible shift hours

    Cons

    Hit and miss managers. Several inexperienced management members.

    Advice to Management

    Hire with more experince


  9. "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Portland, OR

    I worked at Columbia Sportswear (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good discount and good health insurance

    Cons

    Company is unsure of the direction they were going


  10. Helpful (7)

    "boring, no fun, middle-management hell in beaverton"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    great medical, great retirement plan, great discount on the products. working here is a great way to move on to nike and adidas. quiting, or getting fired, is a great way to lower ones stress and anger.

    Cons

    the mid-level managers are the worst. they've been there forever and are just collecting paychecks. columbia sportswear thrives despite this because they've got a great collection of brands and make, for the most part, great products. with good management they could sell so much more. there are not great ideas out there.

    the bathrooms are tiny, always sitting on a warm seat. their kitchens are depressing and worn-out. their parties are dull, in part because it is a very conservative company and there are just so many old people who work there. if you swear, it'll most likely show up in a peer review. their peer review process and the annual setting of goals is a total waste of time. when goals are met, they are not rewarded, when they are not met, nobody cares. they just do it because somebody sold HR on the product.

    their HR department, like most corporate HR departments, is dedicated to the company and its goals and not to the rank and file employees. their HR department has no idea how universally loathed they truly are. eat their doughnuts and then back away.

    they hire from out of state when there are so many locals from which to choose. they claim that they like to promote from within, but in my almost three years i only saw it happen once. i saw them promote someone who wasn't a writer to a senior writer. that would never, ever happen in a place that had good management. but middle management responds very well to people who say yes, and who have brown noses. rocking back and forth and nodding to everything management says is the best way to advance.

    while i was there i saw 8 people move on to nike or adidas, but not once did i see anyone come from those places--i know that it has indeed happened, but not in the e-commerce department.

    their culture has not changed ever, it does not like change. it does not tolerate swearing, or people who are different from themselves. they just don't.

    if you work there, don't trust anyone. not a soul. not ever. don't speak in a meeting unless you must. and never, ever be honest when asked to review someone, especially if it's constructive criticism. just say how much you love your boss and how happy you are and live to see another day. nothing good comes from being honest out there.

    Advice to Management

    quit, and move back to wherever you hacks came from. let your employees work from home whenever possible because the commute from portland can routinely be close to an hour each way. working from home is safer, saves money, saves time, saves the environment and make for a happier employee. don't be mean. stop beating "the way we used to do it at k-mart" and "When i was at sears" horses, those horses are dead. find a new ride and move forward, not backward. learn how to take criticism like a leader instead of a bully. end the senseless meetings.


  11. "Hard working Job with"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia Sportswear full-time

    Pros

    Learn a lot about the business. Great People

    Cons

    Very hard work for what they pay you.



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