Spokane Journal of Business

Columbia Paint opens in Ellensburg

Spokane-based company plans 40th store next year in Whitefish, Mont., area

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Columbia Paint & Coatings Inc., the Spokane-based manufacturer and retailer of paints and coatings, has opened an outlet in Ellensburg, Wash., giving it 39 stores overall.

The store occupies a 6,000-square-foot, leased building at 710 N. Chestnut, in Ellensburg, the Central Washington town about 170 miles southwest of Spokane.

The store, which opened early last month, employs three people, says H. H. Larry Larison, Columbias president and CEO. It sells mostly paint, coatings, and painting supplies to retail and wholesale customers, he says.

Columbia plans in the fall of 2007 to open its 40th outlet, in the Whitefish, Mont., area. The company recently agreed to lease about 4,000 square feet in a planned building there, says Lori Nelson, Columbias spokeswoman.

Larison says that store likely will employ three people initially. The outlet will be the companys ninth Montana location. Columbia Paint was launched in Montana in 1947 but moved its headquarters to Spokane in the early 1970s.

Larison says Columbia Paint decided to open stores in Ellensburg and Whitefish because we do continue to open stores in new geographies and due to a very strong construction market.

The company expects its sales in 2006 to reach a record $71 million to $72 million, up from $62 million in 2005, Larison says.

Columbia Paint employs 316 people, including 110 in Spokane.

Contact Sandra Hosking at (509) 344-1260 or via e-mail at sandyh@spokanejournal.com.

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