The reason for the Columbia name had nothing to do with the Columbia brand of clothing. But when the brand came out, the store was the first to carry its sportswear north of Minneapolis. The store stopped carrying it when the brand became widely available in other stores.
Columbia Clothing has been able to meet not only the professional appearance standards many of us have, but also more relaxed, leisure clothing. Perfect selection for a tradesmen or even any young man looking for his first suit. Rental service outfitting for wedding parties and teenage boys for prom.
Back in early 1970s, when Barbo Jr. joined his father’s business, there were a dozen locally or family-owned men’s haberdasheries in downtown Duluth – stores such as Livingston’s Big Duluth, McGregor and Soderstrom, Allenfall’s, M Cooke & Sons and Gately’s. Today, Ed Barbo’s is one of the last two haberdasheries in Downtown Duluth and has survived by sticking to the business’ forte of fine men’s clothing, sportswear and the best personal service in the industry.