Canada Goose has just opened its first Italian flagship store in Milan, in Via della Spiga 10, in the golden shopping triangle of luxury fashion. The space measures 400 sq. meters and is decorated soberly hosting art and design pieces by Italian and Canadian personalities including Giò Ponti, Qavavau Manumie, Alex Fischer and Meghan Price. Completing the store is a special cold room where temperatures can reach -25° C and where jackets can be tested.

The over 60-year-old Canadian luxury down-jacket brand recently started a global retail expansion plan, despite being distributed internationally for a long time. Dani Reiss, president and CEO, recently explained the brand’s future goals to us.

Dani Reiss, CEO Canada Goose
Photo: Canada Goose
Dani Reiss, CEO Canada Goose
 

When did Canada Goose (CG) start expanding internationally?
CG exists since 1957. We started making it grow internationally 20 years ago as a wholesale brand and only about three years ago as a retail brand. As part of our previous consumer-focused expansion activities, Italy was one of the first countries where we started promoting it at the end of the 1990s. As we opened our first European store in London in 2016, Milan represents our second European store, a project we are very proud of. We will open our third store in Paris by the end of this year in Rue St. Honorè-Rue Royal through which we will reach our 16th store worldwide aiming to reach 20 by end of 2020.

Canada Goose store in Via della Spiga
Photo: Canada Goose
Canada Goose store in Via della Spiga

What are the markets where you are sold most after Canada? Where do you aim to expand next?
Looking at our total revenues Canada counts for 35%, The US count for 30% and the rest of the world represents 34%. We continue to grow and expand in markets where we are already present. Our aim is to open about 20 stores worldwide by the end of the fiscal year 2020 all over the world and primarily grow in China, and the US, while increasing our presence also in Europe and Japan. Though we want to take all the right steps. Over the years we have seen brands that started opening hundreds of stores, but then they have closed them all. We prefer to take the right steps, take our time, choose the right locations very carefully, so that we can open great stores, offer great experience to our fans and do special projects in special places.

 

How is the company performing? 
For fiscal year 2019 we reached sales for CA$830.5 million, 40% more than in 2018. We expect to grow 20% in the next three years and reach CA$1.4 billion revenues by fiscal year 2022. CG sells in 49 countries worldwide through 15 monobrand stores and 2,227 points of wholesale distribution that count for 48% of our total revenues.

Shopfloor at Canada Goose
Photo: Canada Goose
Shopfloor at Canada Goose

Do you offer specific collections and products according to specific markets’ and consumers’ needs or tastes?
We definitely do market specific products. We have our global collection for all markets though also specific offer for single markets like special make-up for our own stores, as we also do for our wholesale partners. Our collection is characterized by different logos–either evident in blue, white and red, or less visible in gray or black, but it’s more meant to satisfy a personal choice of our customers.

Inside view of the Canada Goose store
Photo: Canada Goose
Inside view of the Canada Goose store

Will you launch new categories of products?
When we started we offered 20 jackets. Now our selection is much wider as we carry about 200 styles with very strong women’s offerings, men’s offerings, heavyweight and lightweight jackets, alternative layer jackets, rainwear, windwear and many others. Recently we have started offering knitwear which is performing very well. We chose to produce it in Italy and Romania, where the best manufacturers in this field are based. We always choose the best in class specialists for each product. It’s very important that everything we produce is the best of its kind in our world.

Where do you produce your jackets? 
We produce all of our core down-filled jackets in Canada. All of our factories are in Canada and 4,000 employees sew them there. We are not looking for the cheapest place to make but only the best ones in their field, as we want to offer the best quality. We also recently bought a specialized high-reputation manufacturer of boots for extreme cold weather, Baffin, also a Canadian brand. In a few years we might also involve them in producing a line of footwear for us, too. We have been doing collaborations for many years–about two per year–with different personalities. They were great opportunities for exploring new designs, colors and projects. We involved personalities like with OVO-Drake, Concepts, a retail brand. We also do special collaborations every year like, for instance, with Juun J, a Korean designer, and and Junya Watanabe.

Knitwear Canada Goose
Photo: Canada Goose
Knitwear Canada Goose

Is CG involved with eco-friendly, animal-friendly and sustainable causes? 
Our company definitely believes that doing good is doing good business and our business of the future has to contribute back to the society and share values we are part of. We have always focused on making best-in-class products by using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. In making them, we are committed to being transparent about where and how we make our products, including the ethical sourcing and responsible use of animal products.

We are deeply committed to the ethical sourcing and responsible use of all animal materials in our products. We do not condone any willful mistreatment, neglect, or acts that maliciously cause animals undue suffering. Our standards for the sourcing and use of fur, down and wool reflect our commitment that materials are sourced from animals that are not subject to willful mistreatment or undue harm. The CG Down Transparency Standard is our commitment to support the ethical sourcing and responsible use of down used in our products. Our suppliers are required to certify that our down comes as a by-product of the poultry industry. The CG Fur Transparency Standard is our commitment to support the ethical sourcing and responsible use of real wild fur. All fur sourced by us are in accordance with international agreements respecting animals’ rights. We only use wild fur from North American suppliers and never use fur from fur farms or endangered species.



We monitor compliance our standard through a third-party sample audit program of traplines. We also contribute back to the North of Canada, where we come from. For this we have been supporting Polar Bear International for over ten years. It is an organization dedicated to preserve the Polar habitat through research and education. We have designed a line of clothing with BPI, for scientists and people who are working on the ice that are working with the polar bears, and we have sold this collection in our stores and we contributed a percentage back to BPI.

 

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