During the pandemic, outerwear brand Canada Goose looked at different ways it could engage and reach consumers. So when it came time to reopen its stores earlier this summer, the brand decided to try something new and work with local artists to showcase their work, which captured the hope and optimism of the future.
We recently spoke with Penny Brook, the brand’s CMO, about this effort, as well as Canada Goose’s success in China and its upcoming 2021 projects.
When Canada Goose started to reopen stores over the summer, it invited artists to exhibit their work in its store windows. How’d that project come together?
At Canada Goose our purpose is to keep the planet cold and keep the people on it warm. We also want to share warmth at times when people really need it. During the pandemic, our stores were a blank canvas for local artists to summarize the zeitgeist, to talk about that relationship that’s so important between humans and their environment, and to create some kind of celebration and optimism around the future.
Human beings need to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it was important to help represent a community, and to put forward inspiring content out there for our consumers to lift them up, and lift ourselves up in the process. We use our stores as a platform to represent Canadian art with a specific focus on indigenous art. Indigenous art is exceptionally beautiful and intriguing in its storytelling, but it’s not very well-represented. We’re honored to be displaying this beautiful, lesser-known art throughout the globe in all of our retail stores.
Let’s talk about some of your stores internationally. Your business in mainland China is back to pre-pandemic levels, which is incredible. Your retail footprint there also more than doubled this past quarter. What do you attribute that to?
We entered the market in China just a few years ago. We’re really just at the start of our journey there. Consumers in China have a great love for quality, authentic brands, and they’ve taken the brand very close to heart. We’re just at the start of bringing the brand to its full life in that market. We’ve got some amazing representation there, some great ambassadors in China that we work with, and some amazing future collaborations coming down the pipeline.
This year has been a roller coaster, and many brands have learned a lot. As you look ahead to 2021, what will Canada Goose do differently?
We’re going to launch Human Nature in earnest, which is our purpose commitment. An essential part of that is our sustainability commitment, which gives our commitment to net zero emissions direct and indirect by 2025, as well as our commitments on Bluesign and responsible down-sourcing (RDS). In 2022, we’re going to move to reclaimed fur by upcycling fur and no longer using virgin fur.
To read our collection of Industry Insights: Retailers Speak Out, download the PDF here.
Watch our previous "Industry Voices" videos below: