Canada Goose (clothing)
|Dani Reiss, President & CEO|
|Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
|Revenue||C$<100 million (2009)|
|Owner||Bain Capital and others|
Number of employees
Canada Goose (also known as Canada Goose Expedition Clothing Outfitters) is a Canadian manufacturer of cold weather outerwear. The company was founded in 1957 by Sam Tick, under the name Metro Sportswear Ltd.
Early years (1957–1980)
In 1957, Polish immigrant Sam Tick founded Metro Sportswear Ltd. after spending years working as a cutter in other factories. Metro made woolen vests, raincoats, snowmobile suits, and other functional outerwear before creating down-filled jackets in the early 1970s. In 1972, Tick's son-in-law, David Reiss, joined the company and eventually became CEO. Metro Sportswear evolved with innovative approaches to creating superior down garments and became a leading private down manufacturer. Metro mainly focused on manufacturing custom down-filled coats and heavy-duty parkas for the Canadian Rangers, city police departments, the Ontario Provincial Police, municipal workers, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Correctional Services.
Developing years (1980–1997)
In the early 1980s, Metro Sportswear expanded to 50 employees and David Reiss purchased the company from Sam Tick. In 1985, the down-filled parkas it had been producing were officially registered under the name "Snow Goose". In the early 1990s, Metro began selling its products in Europe, where the Snow Goose name was already registered. Metro registered its European products under the name Canada Goose.
Expansion and growth (1997–present)
David Reiss' son, Dani Reiss, joined the company in 1997 and became president and CEO in 2001. When he first took over as CEO of Canada Goose in 2001, annual sales were around $3 million; in 2014, they hit about $200 million. Within a decade, the company has seen annual revenue grow by 4,000% as it builds market share in Europe, the United States, and Asia, including warm-weather countries such as India and the Middle East.
Dani Reiss ignited the company with two key decisions—to produce only under the name Canada Goose and to remain "Made in Canada", a risky decision when most businesses were outsourcing manufacturing to Asia, where labor costs were much lower.
The business expanded rapidly in the mid-1990s, with sales and revenues increasing from roughly $3 million in 1991 to roughly $17.5 million in 2008. Canada Goose products have been popular in Scandinavia since 1998, and became popular in Canada around 2008.
Soon Canada Goose began to expand internationally, and in 2010, it opened an office in Stockholm, Sweden, for its European operations. In 2011, Canada Goose acquired a new plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As global growth continued, Canada Goose had to move its Winnipeg operations into an even bigger facility in 2013. The company also recently opened its first U.S. office in Denver, Colorado, as part of its U.S. growth strategy.
In December 2013, Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital bought a majority stake in Canada Goose for an estimated $250 million. The deal included a commitment to keep manufacturing in Canada.
Canada Goose manufactures a wide range of jackets, parkas, vests, hats, gloves, and other cold weather apparel, some designed for extreme cold weather. Some Canada Goose jackets also use coyote fur on the hoods and are typically filled with "down sourced from Hutterite farmers across rural Canada". Duck down is used for most models. The jackets are sold at select retailers and typically retail between $600 and $800; the "Trillium", its best-selling women’s coat, retails for approximately $695.
Some celebrities, including Canadian Hayden Christensen, Matt Damon, Hilary Duff, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, have been seen wearing the jackets, though the company does not offer endorsements. The jackets have also been worn by actors and actresses in movies, including Nicolas Cage (in National Treasure), Jessica Alba (in Good Luck Chuck) and Kate Beckinsale (in Whiteout). In The Day After Tomorrow, Canada Goose's Expedition Parka is worn by research scientists of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the television show The Big C, Laura Linney wore the jacket in Season 2, Episode 13, "Crossing the Line". British actors Rhona Mitra and Sam Spruell wore Canada Goose jackets in the first episode of The Last Ship.
British film director Marcus Dillistone wore Canada Goose when he completed his art suite at the Icehotel (Jukkasjärvi) in 2013. Jeremy Clarkson and James May, presenters of British television show Top Gear, donned Canada Goose jackets for their expedition to the North Pole in Top Gear's Polar Special. American model Kate Upton graced the cover of the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition in nothing but a bikini bottom and a Canada Goose parka.
Bain Capital's investment allowed the company to spend more on marketing, and the company sponsors several film festivals including the Berlin International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival in Utah, and Toronto International Film Festival while also outfitting doormen at fancy hotels and fielding special requests from Hollywood. The Canadian Marketing Association named Reiss as its marketer of the year in 2013.
Canada Goose products are also worn by researchers and workers in remote, cold-weather regions. Canada Goose (and Carhartt) supply parkas for participants in the United States Antarctic Program (USAP).
Canada Goose is involved in several environmental and social initiatives, including The Conservation Alliance and Polar Bears International (PBI). As part of its support to PBI, Canada Goose created a custom line of PBI products, including an aviator hat, Expedition Parka and Chilliwack Bomber; $25 from all PBI sales are donated to the non-profit organization devoted to preserving the habitat of polar bears around the world through research and education.
Canada Goose Resource Centres
Established in partnership with the North West Company and First Air in 2009, the Canada Goose Resource Centres provide local traditional seamstresses with high-quality fabrics, buttons, zippers, and other supplies for free to support the established practice of making jackets and clothing for members of the community, a strong tradition of Northern Canada.
Canada Goose faces major issues with counterfeit products. There have been a number of incidents in which counterfeit Canada Goose jackets are sold online through fake websites. Oftentimes the counterfeit coats use fur from dogs or cats rather than coyotes. Instead of duck down, counterfeits use an insulation called "feather mulch", which is not as effective and it can include bacteria and mildew.
To combat this issue, Canada Goose created a web page outlining its concerns about counterfeiting and how the public can report it. In 2011, Canada Goose began sewing holograms into every jacket as proof of authenticity.
In January 2012, Canada Goose launched a lawsuit against International Clothiers in the Federal Court of Canada for trademark infringement. Canada Goose alleged International Clothiers of intentionally designing a logo and positioning it on jackets to mimic the Canada Goose Arctic Program trademark. The International Clothiers product lines in question were the foreign-manufactured Canada Weather Gear and Super Triple Goose.
Canada Goose claimed that unfair business practices were used including publishing print advertisements to promote the jackets as Canada Goose products. A settlement was reached in November 2012.
In October 2012, Canada Goose won a landmark legal battle against counterfeiters in Sweden. The District Court of Stockholm, in one of the most significant counterfeit cases in Sweden, found five individuals jointly and severally guilty of felony fraud, trademark infringement, and customs offenses. The Court sentenced two of the defendants to serve time in prison and also awarded Canada Goose damages for a total judgment of 701,000 SEK (approximately CAD$105,000).
To obtain the fur trim used on many jacket models, coyotes are trapped. Animal rights group PETA criticized Canadian politician Justin Trudeau and his family for wearing Canada Goose products in a family Christmas photo because of the use of fur. Canada Goose asserts that it maintains a conscientious position on the use of animal-derived products, saying that in particular, the use of coyote fur is "only as absolutely necessary, and exclusively for functional purposes". There are several Canada Goose jacket models that do not include fur trim, and the down used in Canada Goose jackets is stated to be a byproduct of the poultry industry.
Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss was criticised for repeatedly refusing to meet 11-year-old Jasmine Polsinelli, who wanted Reiss to consider using an alternative to fur.
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