April 19, 2006, 12:00 AM

It’s a new world order for Patagonia.com

The multi-channel sports apparel and gear retailer this year is expanding its presence across the globe—but not without a new platform.

Patagonia Inc. this year will introduce redesigned U.S. and Japanese e-commerce sites and launch a new site for European consumers. To enable enhancements to the existing sites and support the expansion of its business, the company is building a new e-commerce platform.

“Last year we learned that our web platform, which has been live since 2000, is not scalable enough to handle multiple countries and currencies, and it cannot support dynamic content creation,” a company spokeswoman says. “The new platform is a joint effort. The Patagonia web team is working in conjunction with the Royal Order of Experience Design and the ZaneRay Group.”

Multi-channel Patagonia, No. 205 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, sells apparel and gear for enthusiasts of skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, yoga, trail running, mountain biking, fly fishing and surfing.

In addition to the new platform, the company also is developing new merchandising, store locator and online community features. “We’re focusing on building a greater online community that can tell our stories and broaden word-of-mouth,” the spokeswoman adds.

The e-commerce arm of Patagonia in 2005 reached sales of $23 million, a 10.4% increase over 2004’s $20.8 million, according to Internet Retailer estimates.

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