(Yicai Global) June 4 -- Canada Goose Holdings, a well-known outdoor high-end apparel manufacturer, officially announced its expansion strategy in China, which includes opening brick-and-mortar stores in Beijing and Hong Kong and starting e-commerce operations with Alibaba Group Holding.
Toronto-based Canada Goose will set up its regional head office in Shanghai and open two flagship stores at Taikoo Li Sanlitun shopping center in Beijing and IFC Mall in central Hong Kong this fall, the company said on May 31. It will also cooperate with Alibaba Group to launch e-commerce business on Tmall, a business-to-consumer, or B2C, online retail platform of Alibaba.
As Chinese consumers demand for luxury brands increases, many well-known brands flock to the world's second-largest market. China also encourages winter sports and winter tourism and will host the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Canada's cold winter weather is what lies behind the development of the warm clothing brand. It has also led to Canada Goose's claim that its outwear can withstand cold weather below minus 40 Celsius degrees. Although in most regions of China there is no such urgent demand for outwear against extreme cold weather, it does not hinder the Chinese consumers's enthusiasm and demand for the firm's products.
The Canadian outwear brand's popularity in China is not something new as many celebrities in Europe, North America, Japan and South Korea have been ambassadors for its products. Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, once wore its clothing in a winter outdoor activity. The brand has become a highly respected winter fashion outwear in China in recent years.
Previously, the only channels to purchase its products in China were at Lane Crawford shopping malls or through direct mail services from its official website. The scarcity of domestic channels for buying its products and their high prices -- ranging from CNY5,000 (USD780) to CNY6,000 -- have led to the emergence of a number of wholesale distribution agents in China.
The world's second-largest economy would be the company's next target market, said Dani Reiss, chief executive officer and president of Canada Goose. "The opportunity for Canada Goose in China is massive," he added. "We have seen exceptional demand from Chinese consumers locally and internationally for years and are excited to bring our authentic and immersive retail and e-commerce experience directly to our fans there.
"We are making significant investments and putting the right people and partners in place now, to drive long-term brand affinity and a sustainable business for years to come."
Canada Goose will team up with retail management firm ImagineX Group for operations, including staffing and daily administration, said media reports.
Editor: Mevlut Katik