Toronto-based luxury menswear retailer Harry Rosen has launched a first for North America Canada Goose concept shop at the retailer’s Bloor Street flagship. The partner shop is part of an effort by Harry Rosen to maintain the presence of the highly lucrative Canada Goose brand in its stores at a time when Canada Goose is opening direct-to-consumer stores while at the same time pulling out of some multi-brand retailers.
Located on the lower level of the Harry Rosen flagship store at 82 Bloor Street West, the new Canada Goose shop is the first in a multi-brand retailer in North America to feature Canada Goose’s signature marble bunker table, which is situated prominently at the centre of the new space. A marble wall accent in the new Canada Goose shop is another branding effort that creates something of a ‘hard shop’ for the Canada Goose brand.
As well, the Harry Rosen Canada Goose shop-in-store features a full ‘story telling’ artwork package, which includes framed Aboriginal paintings as well as sculptures and Canada Goose heritage books. It’s the first time that a multi-brand retailer anywhere has featured such elements as part of a Canada Goose shop-in-store presence.
A range of men’s outerwear is carried in the new Canada Goose shop, including outerwear parkas as well as knitwear, winter accessories and other apparel and accessory items from the brand.
The Canada Goose shop is located next to an Atelier Munro tailoring shop that opened in July. A large Hugo Boss shop and other brands are carried on the same floor. Upstairs, some of the world’s leading luxury brands have a presence at Harry Rosen’s Bloor Street flagship, including a collection of shop-in-stores on the second floor for brands including Tom Ford, Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Loro Piana, Brunello Cucinelli, and Moncler. The Bloor Street Harry Rosen flagship is the largest in the chain, spanning about 55,000 square feet over five levels.
Canada Goose and Harry Rosen have had a long-standing partnership that has included exclusive launches. In August of 2016, Harry Rosen launched a Jose Bautista branded Canada Goose jacket that sold out very quickly, and the retailer hosted a party on a terrace at the top of the Bloor Street flagship as part of the launch. Harry Rosen has partnered with Canada Goose on various other product launches and the result has been millions of dollars of sales.
Harry Rosen’s elevated Canada Goose shop-in-store is no doubt an effort to keep the brand in Harry Rosen stores, which currently do not operate on a concession model. A short distance away at the Manulife Centre, the recently relocated Over the Rainbow store also features a Canada Goose shop-in-store, carrying a range of men’s and women’s Canada Goose outerwear and apparel. Over the Rainbow was one of the first retailers to carry the Canada Goose line when it launched the brand almost 16 years ago in Over the Rainbow’s former Yorkville Avenue storefront.
Canada Goose has been opening direct-to-consumer stores worldwide while at the same time dropping some wholesale accounts. The first Canada Goose store in the world opened at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in October of 2016, and the brand has since opened corporate stores in markets including New York City, London, Chicago, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenyang, Milan, Short Hills (New Jersey), Boston, Minneapolis and Milan. In Canada, Canada Goose operates standalone stores in Toronto as well as in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton. Soon to open Canadian locations include CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto as well as in Banff Alberta, and a flagship in Paris will become the first for Canada Goose in France. Sources say that Canada Goose will open its first downtown Toronto location at CF Toronto Eaton Centre next year.
Some multi-brand retailers are said to be concerned that Canada Goose could drop wholesale accounts as the brand continues to open direct-to-consumer stores. Financial records show that Canada Goose’s corporate stores generate higher profits than its wholesale accounts. For some retailers, losing Canada Goose could result in a financial hit and in some cases could be catastrophic — last year a source at Canadian multi-brand retailer Sporting Life said that Canada Goose represented about a quarter of the retailer’s overall sales. Some multi-brand retailers have also dropped the Canada Goose line — Holt Renfrew, for example, dropped the men’s collection due to its being ‘ubiquitous’, though Holts continues to carry the women’s Canada Goose line.
Canada Goose also operates a robust e-commerce site which, again, is a direct-to-consumer model that could result in a decrease of sales of the brand in multi-brand retailers. The Canada Goose website alone does millions of dollars of sales annually from a global market seeking authentic product amid expansive counterfeiting efforts.
Multi-brand retailers globally have struggled as brands carried in stores open direct-to-consumer corporate stores. The trend is particularly pronounced in major European cities, where numerous luxury multi-brand stores have closed due to poor sales. While online sales and competition is said to have been part of the reason, the opening of mono-brand corporate stores for brands has resulted in the brands themselves becoming the biggest competitors to multi-brand retailers housing them. In some cases luxury brands have maintained a presence in the multi-brand retailers while opening standalone stores nearby, and some brands have chosen to pull out of multi-brand retailers altogether in order to control store design, staffing and product selection — not to mention reaping higher profits amid higher profit margins.
It remains to be seen what Canada Goose will do with its wholesale accounts at multi-brand retailers as the brand continues to open its own direct-to-consumer corporate stores. Investments made by retailers like Harry Rosen appear to indicate that Canada Goose will continue to utilize existing wholesale channels, provided sales are strong enough to justify them. Some weaker multi-brand retailers could lose Canada Goose as a brand carried in store, and in some instances losing Canada Goose could lead to the demise of some retailers currently carrying the line.