Canada Goose wants its customers to chill out — literally.
On Friday, the Canadian outerwear brand will open the doors to its fourth U.S. store in The Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey. And it will include a Cold Room where customers can test the brand’s parkas in temperatures as low as -13 degrees farenheit.
Although Canada Goose is not the first to install Cold Rooms in its stores — Eddie Bauer offered up a human-size ice box in 2016 — the addition not only answers the call for experiential retail but also serves to showcase the jackets in the conditions they were designed to withstand.
“Canada Goose is an experiential brand,” said Dani Reiss, president and chief executive officer. “So many times over the years, I’ve heard from people that trying on a Canada Goose jacket is the first time they’ve ever been truly warm. There is no brand like Canada Goose and that’s something we want people to feel as soon as they visit our web site, step into our store or are on our social channels.”
Reiss said storytelling is also a “central part of engaging with consumers and the Cold Room is another element of that. Since we opened our first stores in 2016, we’ve created immersive elements within each space that invite consumers to discover our deeper story.” This includes vintage pieces from the brand’s more than 60-year archive and “Made in Canada” design, artwork and furnishings in the stores.
The Short Hills unit is no exception. In addition to the Cold Room, it will include Canadian-inspired design elements such as a cash desk carved from a single piece of marble and sourced from a quarry in British Columbia; Inuk sculptures that speak to the brand’s charity work with Polar Bears International; Inuk prints and drawings by Canadians Pitaloosie Saila, Johnny Pootoogook and Tim Pitsiulak, as well as a Lance Mackey archival piece. The store will offer an exclusive limited-edition New Jersey Toque hat.
Reiss said the company opted for Short Hills because he believes the mall is “the preeminent fashion and luxury destination in the suburban metropolitan New York area; an area that really has become our home away from home. Two years ago, we opened our first U.S. — and second-ever store —in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. The New York area is very important to us and has truly embraced Canada Goose.” In addition, the mall “is known for having one of the world’s largest concentrations of upscale retailers under one roof and we will be in great company.”
The mall offers more than 150 stores and restaurants including Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Macy’s as well as Brunello Cucinelli, Burberry, Coach, Loro Piana, Michael Kors, Hermès, Saint Laurent and Thomas Pink.
This will mark Canada Goose’s fourth U.S. store. In addition to SoHo, it also has units in Chicago and Boston. The company also operates stores in Toronto and Calgary as well as London and Tokyo, the latter of which is operated by a distribution partner.
Later this year, stores will open in Montreal, Vancouver, Beijing and Hong Kong.
The Cold Room concept debuted in the Tokyo store last year, and was a success, Reiss said. As a result, Cold Rooms will open in the Boston and Montreal flagships before the end of the year.
The Cold Room operates between 0 and -13 degrees and inspired by spring in Churchill, Manitoba, Reiss said, an area known for its polar bears and the headquarters Polar Bears International. Canada Goose has been working with the nonprofit conservation organization for more than 10 years and has a PBI Collection of jackets and accessories for men, women and children. A portion of sales from those styles supports the group’s work to protect polar bear habitats through research and education.
The Cold Room will operate year round and is 50 square feet.
Reiss said the company views the Cold Room as an extension of its customer service initiatives and allows shoppers to experience the numerous features of the coats. It will also allow them to familiarize themselves with Canada Goose’s Thermal Experience Index, which ranks each coat from one to five in terms of warmth, and best select the right model for their lifestyles.
“This immersive experience is essentially a playground for gear testing,” Reiss said.
Canada Goose was founded 60 years ago and is considered an expert in parkas. The company, which went public in March 2017, has expanded into knitwear as well.