April 22, 2014, 1:33 PM

Columbia Sportswear focuses sunglasses sales on Europe

In a licensing and distribution deal with Italy-based Brandsdistribution.com, Columbia joins other brands including Dr. Scholl’s footwear products and No Limits watches using Brandsdistribution.com to sell products across Europe.

Columbia Sportswear Co., a designer and manufacturer of outdoor sports apparel and accessories, is stepping up its sales of sunglasses across Europe in a licensing and distribution agreement with Brandsdistribution.com, the Turin, Italy-based distributor says.

Columbia Sportswear, No. 263 in the new 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks North American retailers by annual web sales, will have access to retail dealers throughout Europe, according to Brandsdistribution.com CEO Angelo Muratore. Columbia did not immediately return a request for comment.

Brandsdistribution.com, which is a unit of IDT S.p.A, distributes products through a network of some 70,000 dealers that subscribe to its web portal, Muratore says. Its distributed products include apparel, jewelry and accessories from brands including Alcott, Gucci, Disney, Dr. Scholl’s, No Limits, Prada, Roccobarocco and Burberry. Its contracts include exclusive deals to license products from No Limits watches and Sparco footwear and to distribute Dr. Scholl’s footwear products and Disney Planes T-shirts.

Brandsdistribution.com sells products to dealers at a discount of about 75% off of regular wholesale prices and provides drop-shipping from manufacturers to resellers. It also provides technology services to connect a brand’s product catalog to Brandsdistribution.com through an application programming interface, or API, which is a set of software instructions for connecting separate software applications. Clients can download a brand’s product catalogue as XML or Excel files, including high-resolution product photos and product descriptions in five languages, Muratore says.

The company works with international courier company DHL to provide drop-shipping services to consumers who purchase its brands through e-commerce sites.

IDT operates in the United States as IDCOM, with offices in New York.

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