US outdoor apparel firm Columbia Sportswear Company has announced plans to expand its e-commerce operations to Canada and up to eight key markets across Europe in Fall 2011.

The company said it also plans to launch new e-commerce sites for its flagship Columbia brand, together with its Sorel footwear brand.

Its European launch includes the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Spain.

Christian Finell, general manager of Columbia’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region, said: "We see e-commerce as an important tool that helps us fulfill our responsibility to build a strong brand for the benefit of customers and all of our business partners. E-Commerce is an essential brand platform that allows us to bring our brands to life and help people find the styles they need to enjoy the outdoors."