The Canada Goose store in Soho.


Thursday was a good day for outerwear brand Canada Goose as it popped 41.2 percent right out of the gate in its first day of trading as a public company.

The shares began trading at $18.05 on the New York Stock Exchange after being priced at $12.78. They ended the day’s session up 25.8 percent, closing at $16.08.

Dani Reiss, president and chief executive officer, who spoke with WWD shortly after the shares began trading, said, “It’s overwhelming, an exciting new experience. This is once-in-a-lifetime stuff. I’m having fun.”

The maker of $900 goose down parkas sold 20 million subordinate voting shares, which have a dual listing on both the Toronto Stock Exchange, where the company is based, and on the Big Board. The stock trades under the ticker symbol GOOS. With a raise of nearly $255 million, the company has a market value of $1.35 billion.

Following the initial public offering, Bain Capital will continue to hold a controlling stake in the firm. The private equity firm acquired a 70 percent stake in Canada Goose in 2013. About 10 percent of the firm was sold through the IPO.

Reiss said the company is focusing on “expanding our core product offering — the heavier-weight jackets we are known for and the [new] lighter-weight ones, which have become popular.”

The ceo said the company would be introducing a capsule knitwear collection in the fall. And there will be some additions to the accessories category for spring, according to Reiss, who described the merchandising category as a “huge opportunity.”

He also said the brand’s reputation for product that’s both of high quality and functionality allows it to transfer those benefits to other products, such as footwear and potentially home. Both are categories that on the longer-term horizon, the ceo said.

Reiss said the company likely would be focusing first on expanding in its existing markets, such as the U.S., where “there’s room to grow. There are smaller cities where we are not as well-known, such as in the Midwest and the north Pacific.”

And while in “China there’s a really big [opportunity] for us where we have demand,” Reiss said expansion overseas initially would be focused on adding several more European online sites in the major cities “this winter.” The brand operates e-commerce sites in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and France.

He also spoke of a “guy who flew in from Hong Kong” to be at the company’s opening of its Toronto flagship in October at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre “because the brand doesn’t really have a big presence in China yet. That’s reflective of the demand in China.”

While Reiss said demand for its products is evenly balanced between men and women, an interesting data sample of 2,000 online searches for Canada Goose between Feb. 12 and March 14, conducted by Quantcast, showed the highest search interest was from men between ages 18 and 44, with no kids and are college-grad school educated and Asian. The global tech firm that tracks human behavior online said searchers skewed highest towards incomes of $100,000-plus, matching Canada Goose’s placement as a luxury firm. The top five states that saw the most searches were: Massachusetts; New York; Connecticut; New Jersey, and Maryland. The top interests of those doing the searches were: finance, computers/technology and extreme sports.

Lauren Young, Quantcast’s resident data anthropologist, said women “indexed significantly lower than men. This indicates to me that although women may be heavy consumers of Canada Goose, it’s men who are more interested in reading/searching the company.” It wasn’t clear whether the immediacy of the IPO had any impact of the number of searches by men.

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