The first person in line when I arrived at the Columbia Sportswear store in Seattle on Friday morning was well into his twenty-second hour in line. He knew what he had come for and he wasn’t about to risk losing out. HIs prize: one of the three limited-edition Columbia Echo Base Han Solo Archive Edition parkas (his choice: the size large) only available at select Columbia Sportswear retail locations.
The two gentlemen behind him bought the medium and the small. They had both been lined up since the wee hours of the morning. All three of the gentlemen who went home with the Archive Edition coats weren’t phased by the $1980 price tag. The fact the coats were autographed by Harrison Ford and the proceeds were earmarked for Conservation International was more than enough to make it worth their dollars.
By the time the doors opened at 9:30, more than 100 people had lined up to snag one of
the store’s 160 Echo Base Collection coats. The coats, which came in Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia-inspired varieties, retailed for $400 and were available on the company’s website beginning at midnight EST on December 8th. The entire collection quickly sold out online (the Leia coat holding on the longest, lasting a little more than 7 minutes before stock was depleted), making an in-person purchase at one of Columbia’s thirteen retail outlets the only option for chilly fans who wanted to bring one of these #TestedTough pieces home.
The Seattle crowd was definitely in the Star Wars spirit as they waited their turn to visit the display area and choose their size and style. Store managers and the friendly, helpful staff kept the line moving while an emcee offered trivia, free stickers, and enthusiastic cheers. Iconic John Williams Star Wars scores played in the background and the 501st Legion was on hand to maintain order– and to pose for pictures with satisfied, coated customers.
Columbia enforced a strict two-coats-per-person policy, but even so, when I left the store two hours after opening, the entire Echo Base collection had sold out.
I am pleased to report that everyone who had been waiting out front for the store to open went home with a new coat. And yes, I was one of them.
See more of my photos from the morning’s fun at Columbia Sportswear Seattle on Twitter @MandaTheGinger
Read more about the Columbia Sportswear Echo Base collection and the Han Solo Archive Edition Parka (including how you can enter to win one!) at https://www.columbia.com/starwars/