TORONTO — Canada Goose is continuing its push for global growth, beginning with the acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Toronto, more brand expansion in the U.S. and the debut of a soft-shell collection of transitional outerwear set to launch this spring.
“Fifteen years ago, the premium jacket category was nonexistent. But today it’s growing rapidly, particularly in the U.S. and Asia. That’s why we’re looking ahead. We have to be ready for what’s on the horizon,” said chief executive officer and president Dani Reiss, 41, the man who took a family business that made parkas for police officers, park rangers and workers in the Arctic in the Seventies and turned it into a high-end brand now sold in more than 50 countries.
Indeed, in five year’s time, Reiss expects Canada Goose to be regarded by global shoppers as the only luxury brand that sells Canada in the way that it does.
“I’ve always believed that Canada Goose captured something quintessentially Canadian in its feel and design. I want the world to recognize that Canadian spirit as something desirable in their wardrobe,” Reiss said last month during the Sundance Film Festival, an event the company has sponsored for the past three years.
The brand’s jackets, filled with a proprietary blend of goose and duck down supplied by Canadian Hutterites, currently retail for $425 to $1,195. Reiss is determined to maintain Canada Goose’s luxury positioning. “Downgrading or moving out of Canada to manufacture in Asia is something we just won’t do,” he said.
To that end, the company’s 45,000-square-foot manufacturing plant located in the Scarborough area outside of Toronto will be retooled with the latest technology to create a world-class production center.
The investment will be “substantial,” Reiss said. However, once this overhaul is completed the facility is expected to increase production efficiency by 25 percent, which will serve the brand well as it heads “far north of the $200 million mark in sales in 2015,” according to Reiss. That projection, he explained, represents a 5,000 percent growth rate for the company over the past decade.
The Scarborough plant will also produce the company’s Hybridge Lite collection of lightweight jackets and vests. The collection represents a move for the company in recent years from the design of core Arctic parkas for extreme cold-weather conditions to more lightweight gear that is still functional and luxurious.
Canada Goose has taken that evolution one step further with the development of its new soft-shell collection of transitional jackets for men and women, which will launch in North America in spring 2015. According to Reiss, the collection was designed to provide customers with light, breathable gear that could be worn comfortably as weather conditions change between seasons.
“This is activewear you can run or walk in,” Reiss said. “These soft shells are fleece-lined, not down-filled. But they still provide that nice, cozy warmth customers want.”
Priced between $395 and $525, the new line should help the brand as it ventures farther into the U.S. in 2015, particularly into the Chicago and West Coast markets. In fact, according to Reiss, Canada Goose is anticipating a growth rate of 50 percent in 2015 as it moves into these new markets.
“We’ve been growing in the U.S. for the last 10 years, but that growth has been especially strong over the last five,” said Reiss, whose company opened a head office in New York two months ago.
Canada Goose is currently sold at U.S. retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.
Bain Capital acquired a significant majority of Canada Goose in December 2013, with Reiss continuing to own a large minority stake.