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Stitched into the back pocket are the letters "T" and "M," which stand for Tough Mother, a reference to Gert Boyle, Columbia's chairwoman, who has appeared in many of its advertising and marketing campaigns.
The denim looks target Columbia's core customer of active women between the ages of 25 and 50, Curtin said. The jeans retail for $39.95, and the company plans to introduce a larger selection with new washes and fits for spring 2007.
Columbia is targeting its main distribution, including sport and outdoor specialty chains, and department stores. Curtin said some sports retailers have already shown interest, even though denim isn't usually available in those types of stores.
— Melanie Kletter
True Religion Net Soars
True Religion Apparel continues to reap the benefits of an aggressive strategy to expand its product offerings and develop its global business as sales and earnings surged in the fourth-quarter and full-year periods.
"As you may know, I love this business. I eat, breathe and dream the denim lifestyle," said Jeff Lubell, president and chief executive officer, during the company's conference call Wednesday. "These kinds of financial results are very gratifying."
For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Los Angeles premium denim manufacturer saw earnings rise 44.7 percent, to $3.7 million, or 16 cents a diluted share. Earnings were hampered by a one-time charge of $2.2 million related to a legal settlement, translating into a negative impact of 6 cents a share. Sales for the period rose 87.8 percent, to $25.5 million from $13.6 million.
For the year, the company reported an earnings gain of 361.4 percent, to $19.5 million, or 84 cents a share, compared with earnings of $4.2 million, or 20 cents, a year ago. Sales ballooned 270.7 percent, to $102.5 million from $27.7 million.
"This was driven by strong sales of our core denim line in men's and women's, and an increasing component of nondenim sportswear," said Lubell.
About 57 percent of sales came from the U.S. market; the remaining volume was generated in 20 other countries. Nondenim items, such as recently introduced fleece jackets, have been well received at retail and are an increasing focus, the ceo said.