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Canada Goose Bypasses Saks With Sales Pitch for the Amazon World

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(Bloomberg) -- Dani Reiss, who runs Canada Goose Holdings Inc., used to be so anti-logo that he would cut the little crocodiles off his Lacoste shirts. Today, a prominent North Pole crest is emblazoned on the shoulder of each parka his company makes, enhancing their cachet with consumers as Amazon.com Inc.’s shadow looms large over the traditional retail landscape.

“I didn’t like brands, which is very ironic I realize given our large logo,” Reiss said in an interview from Canada Goose’s Toronto head office. “What I learned when I started working here was that the stories behind these products were phenomenal, the reputation we had built was phenomenal, anybody who knew about it really liked it -- but nobody knew about it.”

Canada Goose turns 60 this year, but as a hot consumer brand it’s a relative youngster. After selling through wholesalers for most of its history, it’s only just beginning to roll out its direct-to-consumer strategy. The company is doing this in the midst of a growing threat from Amazon and declining mall traffic, giving it the ability to tailor its approach to the changing retail reality. Its strategy: rapid growth of e-commerce bolstered by a few flagship stores that Reiss says will help close the 15-point profit margin gap with its luxury peers. 

The direct-to-consumer approach has the added advantage of reducing Canada Goose’s reliance on the struggling retailers that accounted for all of its sales just three years ago. Department store chains like Hudson’s Bay Co.’s Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew are at the front lines of Amazon’s assault on the industry, which has been forced to shutter stores and lay off employees amid declining mall traffic. This summer, Amazon said it would launch a service called Prime Wardrobe that lets consumers try on items at home before they buy, causing department-store shares to slump.

Retail Slump

“There’s no doubt that the wholesale landscape today is languishing,” said Reiss, who has been chief executive officer of Canada Goose since 2001. He’s the third generation of his family to run the company, founded by his Polish immigrant grandfather in 1957.

He emphasized that Canada Goose still has a strong relationship with its wholesalers, while its popular outerwear and new line of knitwear are attracting shoppers in department stores. But Reiss believes the direct-to-consumer category, which accounted for 29 percent of Canada Goose’s revenue in the fiscal year ended March 31, will grow faster and could one day overtake wholesale as the biggest source of sales.

“It’s more clear to me today than ever how big that opportunity is,” he said.

The pillar of its consumer strategy is e-commerce. Canada Goose has four country-specific sites -- in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and France -- and plans to roll out seven more European sites this year with a plan to eventually be “online everywhere around the world,” Reiss said. 

Select Stores

Canada Goose is supplementing that online presence with a smattering of flagship stores. So far it’s opened two, in Toronto and New York. Four more stores -- in London, Chicago, Boston and Calgary -- are coming this year with a goal of 15 to 20 worldwide by 2020.

“We have been very disciplined over the last 20 years in every decision we’ve made,” Reiss said. “We’re going to apply the same discipline with our real estate decisions to make sure we don’t sign any leases that we’re going to regret in a few years.”

Analysts are encouraged by the potential growth trajectory of Canada Goose, which has seen its shares gain 40 percent since its trading debut in March, boosting its market value to C$2.3 billion ($1.9 billion).

“Canada Goose is the first ever hyper-growth softlines brand to arrive fully in this new digital era, and it should be amazing to have front-row seats to watch what happens when you incubate one of these young rocketships in a totally digital landscape,” Evercore ISI analyst Omar Saad said in an April note initiating coverage of the retailer.

“Think about it: Instant access to 3 billion modern consumers without needing to spend untold sums building fancy stores and expensive marketing campaigns,” he said.

Saad estimated that Canada Goose’s e-commerce sales already account for more than 20 percent of its total revenue, up from zero in 2014. This is well ahead of Burberry Group Plc, which has the next highest digital penetration of the luxury brands at 10 percent.

That has big implications for Canada Goose’s gross margin, which was 53 percent in the fiscal year ended March 31. By contrast, Moncler SpA’s was 77 percent in its last fiscal year, while Burberry, Hermes International and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE ranged from 65 percent to 70 percent.

For every 5 percent mix shift to direct-to-consumer, Canada Goose gains 120 basis points of margin, estimated BMO analyst John Morris.

A direct-to-consumer jacket sale provides two to four times more operating income than a sale of the same product through a wholesaler, according to Canada Goose’s annual report. Revenue in the direct-to-consumer channel more than tripled in the 12 months ended March 31, compared with 12 percent in the wholesale channel.

“We believe that the shift of a greater percentage of our business to direct-to-consumer will be one of the things that helps improve our margins, for sure,” Reiss said.

Winter Gear

To pull this off, Canada Goose needs to maintain the cache that has consumers across the northern hemisphere willing to spend up to $1,495 on its made-in-Canada parkas. For most of its history Canada Goose was a utilitarian brand, selling practical winter gear for use in the Far North.

“We made a best-in-class product but nobody really knew about it outside of the people who lived and worked in those places,” Reiss said.

Reiss, 43, who joined the company in 1997, recognized its potential to be more than just a maker of utilitarian outerwear and became obsessed with the idea of brand authenticity.

He tried hard to raise Canada Goose’s profile in Toronto but everyone told him the products were too utilitarian, too expensive, or both.

Coldest Place

“But when I traveled to Europe I found that in Europe they really understood it,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Oh, this is a parka made in Canada that is used in the coldest places on Earth by anybody who knows. This is almost the platonic image of a winter jacket.”’

Canada Goose’s jackets took off in Stockholm first and quickly spread to Italy, Germany and even Japan but took longer to take root in their home market.

“In typical Canadian fashion, Canadians adopt their own things after everybody else does,” Reiss said.

Canada Goose’s next big frontier is China, where many upscale consumers are familiar with the brand through their travels.

“We’re working on a China strategy as we speak,” Reiss said. “China’s a huge potential market for us.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristine Owram in Toronto at kowram@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Arie Shapira at ashapira3@bloomberg.net, David Scanlan, Steven Frank

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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4 Stores to buy Canada Goose in Vancouver

\ Clothing Store

It’s surprising just how difficult it is to find a store that sells the highly sought after Canada Goose in Vancouver. And with the popular outerwear brand facing major issues with counterfeiting, it’s vital to know the duds from the originals.

Founded over fifty years ago in a small warehouse in Toronto, Canada Goose has established itself as one of the most notable labels for extreme weather conditions. This of course isn’t hard to achieve as each Canada Goose jacket is produced to be lightweight and versatile while maintaining the capabilities to endure both everyday and extreme weather conditions.

Although the sale price appears alarming, keep in mind that the technology behind each product is nothing short of incredible and thorough. Materials include genuine goose down as well as coyote fur trim for the hoods because “it never freezes, doesn’t hold water, and the uneven hair lengths create a windbreak."

That is precisely why you won’t find any authentic Canada Goose jackets for cheap – the brand never discounts its products. Which is a helpful tip when figuring out whether or not an item is counterfeit – if the price appears too good to be true then it most likely is. For more tips on spotting the differences be sure to read the counterfeit section on the official website for Canada Goose. 

Even though temperatures rarely hit artic levels in Vancouver, you never can tell when disaster may strike and an extreme winter jacket is needed (lets not forget The Day After Tomorrow, people). Below is a list of authorized retailers to buy Canada Goose in Vancouver in order to safeguard against the imitations. Make sure to share the post if you know anyone else that’s searching for a life long jacket. 

Stores to buy Canada Goose in Vancouver
  • Harry Rosen (Pacific Centre)

    700 West Georgia Street , Vancouver

    Clothing Store

    Why hello 27, 000 square feet of male luxury. Harry’s flagship store in Pacific Centre offers an impressive display of classic and contemporary menswear pieces. Brands range anywhere from Prada, Tom Ford, Fred Perry, Maison Martin Margiela to Citizens of Humanity. Obviously, it’s not for the faint of wallets. Of course there’s a spectacular selection of Canada Goose jackets including bombers, vests, and parkas. Remember there’s another Harry’s location over at Oakridge Shopping Centre, which is also known for its impeccable service and knowledgeable staff.

  • Holt Renfrew

    737 Dunsmuir Street , Vancouver

    Clothing Store

    There’s nothing you want or need that you can’t find at Holt Renfrew. Seriously, they have you covered whether it’s from the made to measure service, complimentary alterations, a salon and spa in store, and even personal shopping all at your disposal. While it is tempting to visit and bask in all that luxury, your wallet is sure to take a beating when such brands as Acne, Stella McCartney, Valentino, Givenchy and more are laid out in neat rows. Can’t argue with the selection of Canada Goose though. Must say, if you’re looking to not be ignored than Harry’s is a better option.

  • Brooklyn Clothing Co

    418 Davie Street , Vancouver

    Clothing Store

    Brooklyn Clothing deserves a serious shout-out for being one of the most reputable menswear stores in Vancouver. Just a pity they don’t sell anything for women but nevertheless, the store and staff do try and make up for that shortcoming. The selection of denim is pretty darn comprehensive and extensive – over 1, 000 jeans are always in stock. And brands include Nudie Jeans Co., 18 Waits, G-Star Raw, Fidelity, Tanner Goods and more in addition to Canada Goose. The selection of Canada Goose isn’t as large as Harry’s or Holts but there’s still a great variety for men.

  • Alpine Start Outfitters

    68 W Broadway Street , Vancouver

    Shopping Centre

    The Alpine Start Outfitters is located on West Broadway and prides itself on offering an outstanding selection of quality outdoor gear. If you’re planning any sort of adventure or trekking in the wilderness then this outdoor retailer is a great hub for finding appropriate apparel and accessories. This makes it no surprise that they’d be one of the authorized retailers in Vancouver to sell Canada Goose jackets. If the outerwear is for any sort of excursion then definitely go to Alpine Start Outfitters – you’re going to find everything you need in one spot with the help of knowledgeable employees.

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Harry Rosen x Canada Goose “Get Out There” Launch Party on the Rooftop

Harry Rosen launches Canada Goose 2016 Winter Collection with a “Get Out There” party on the rooftop

When there’s an ice-bar, there is Canada Goose. And the phenomenon is not just limited to Canada. It always makes me proud to see our Goose jackets being worn everywhere on my trips to the cold, Nordic countries.

Last Thursday, November 26, Harry Rosen on Bloor transformed its rooftop into its own version of ice bar to celebrate the launch of Canada Goose’s new 2016 collection.

canada goose ice bar on harry rosen rooftop
Canada Goose ice bar

(scroll to the bottom for full gallery)

Winter and outdoors were the perfect combination for this event. Invited friends and VIPs were greeted with a Canada Goose coat to wear for the night, and a pair of Canada Goose gloves to keep. Sadly, sizes for my tiny hands weren’t available, but the hot cider served at Harry Rosen‘s Canada Goose ice bar did an equivalently good job.

After being warmed up by the hot beverage, guests tasted four kinds of whiskeys from The Macallan 1824 Series, the Gold was served in a refreshing cocktail garnished with cranberries; the Amber, the Sienna, and the Ruby were served straight up or on the rocks.

The wall above the ice bar was where Canada Goose’s new “Out There” film was being projected on. The film was directed by veteran filmmakers Paul Haggis and Sean Bobbitt (BSC) and tells the true stories of four inspiring individuals who have personal (emotional) connections with Canada Goose.

canada goose out there film projected on wall
“Out There” film

Karl Bushby, an adventurer who in the past spent 11 years in the British Army, now sets himself off on a life-challenging journey: to walk through 25 countries, across 58,000km and ultimately, back to England, where he calls home. He is still walking in his Canada Goose gear, and to date, he has survived through the snake-infested Columbian rivers, the Canadian Rockies and the crossing of the Bering Strait.

Paddy Doyle, a First Air pilot who spends his career flying across Northern Canada, encounters a Canadian arctic storm and survives an emergency landing on ice.

Lance Mackey, a hardcore champion dog-sled racer who wins both the Iditarod and Yukon Quest races back to back, continues to race the Alaskan terrain in Canada Goose’s light-weight gear and accessories after a four-year battle with throat cancer.

Marilyn Hofman-Smith, a medevac flight nurse who fell into the frozen Churchill River located less than 1000 km away from the Artic Circle, gets saved by her companion who was able to pull her up with the grab strap attached to the back of her Canada Goose Snow Mantra Parka.

Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest back in 1982, continues to participate in over 30 world-class expeditions including those to the Canadian Rockies, South America, Nepal, and India. He dresses himself in Canada Goose Skreslet Parka in Summit Pink to fight the cold.

Many of the guests, though, were distracted by the delectable bites served by The Food Dudes and did not realize the film was being played. They devoured red beet risotto balls, pizza squares, savoury pastries, and meatballs with bao buns before heading to the fireplace, not to keep warm, but to burn some s’mores.