In recent times where several Canadian brands are witnessing tumultuous times – Lululemon and Blackberry coming to mind – Canada Goose is flying in on a high wind, with plans for market expansion overseas.
The Toronto-based company has signed a deal with Bain Capital, an American private investment firm which will allow it to drive its brand into new markets – particularly, India and Asia.
Canada Goose’s range of jackets, having been manufactured in Canada for over 50 years, have achieved a formidable level of popularity and prestige amongst Canadians and in particular within the Asian markets. Their products are a retailer’s dream, selling at high-end shops and featured in movies with A-list Hollywood celebrities including Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Alba and Nicolas Cage.
Will they continue to be made in Canada?
As Canada Goose’s website states, they are “proud to bring ‘Made in Canada’ to the world.” Their current product lines range from shells to heavyweight jackets for sub-zero temperatures, with a moderate line of accessories.
And there are no indications that the manufacturing would stop in Canada with the newly established partnership with Bain Capital, as David Kassie, an adviser to the transaction, insisting that the manufacturing in Canada has been a key part of the company’s existing success story.
Indeed, Dani Reiss, the CEO of Canada Goose, had already debated the outsourcing option long and hard and chose to forego this route back in the early 2000’s. He grew up with the realization that a significant portion of his customer base had a genuine response to the product being “made in Canada.” As he noted, “the experience of owning one of these jackets was like trying on a piece of Canada.” (Profit Guide). It was with this discovery that he managed to drive the business from being a primarily private-label business to a commercial retail success.
Indeed, another story of a key Canadian brand which eventually chose to outsource their production overseas is a reminder of the risks of outsourcing – as Lululemon experienced with their recall of Luon yoga pants earlier this year – marking the start of a series of tumultuous events for company.
Immediate next-step plans for Canada Goose are a move to a new Toronto factory that will allow them greater production capacity.
Manufacturing in Canada
A look at manufacturing data by province reveals that the Ontario continues to have the largest manufacturing base of Canada – producing $272,221 million in sales in 2012, seeing an increase of $13,805,000 from 2011. Quebec follows as the second leader in manufacturing sales, posting sales of $140,409 million in 2012.
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec were the three provinces that saw minor decreases in their manufacturing sales between the years of 2011 – 2012.
Canada Goose’s early years save a rapid-growth expansion in the 1990’s, with sales and revenues more than tripling between 1991 and 2008 – the same year that the company saw a popularity surge in its products in Canada (Wikipedia). Canada Goose established offices in Stockholm, Sweden and Denver, Colorado in the early 2000’s.
Whatever Canada Goose’s next plans are – to oursource or not – they will fly onward and eastward, and we’ll be watching and waiting in the wings.
By Joscelyne Yu