What Happened: Canada Goose participated in the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which ran from November 5 to 10 at Shanghai’s National Exhibition and Convention Center. This is the second consecutive year the brand has attended the trade showcase.
The outerwear brand’s participation in the CIIE came during its five-year anniversary in China, which it marked last month with an immersive Live in the Open celebration event in Shanghai.
Held under the theme “Live in the Open: Experiencing New Horizons,” Canada Goose’s CIIE pavilion showcased the brand’s 65-year heritage and quality craftsmanship, plus its evolution as a performance luxury lifestyle brand producing outerwear for all seasons.
Its achievements over the past five years and strategic trajectory were also in the spotlight. These include local corporate social responsibility projects through its Humanature platform and first-to-market initiatives in China, one of its largest global markets.
The government-backed expo has grown to become one of the most prominent events for global companies operating in China, providing a platform for brands to demonstrate their innovation and commitment to the local market. Last year’s CIIE hosted brands from 145 countries, generating an estimated $73.5 billion in deals.
The Jing Take: Experiencing New Horizons is an apt theme as Canada Goose celebrates its five-year anniversary in China and opens a new chapter with the company’s five-year strategic plan, unveiled in February this year.
Since entering China in late 2018 — when enthusiasm in the country for luxury and outdoor adventures started to take off — Canada Goose has built a loyal fanbase, gaining consumers across diverse groups like women and Gen Z.
Its performance luxury and lifestyle brand positioning and rugged Arctic inspirations complement Chinese consumers’ understanding of what a luxury brand is — quality, authenticity, and social values are major motivators for today’s affluent young consumers.
A strong localized strategy and direct-to-consumer retail approach in China paved the way for rapid expansion. Canada Goose operates almost 30 stores in luxury malls and standalone venues across China, including its Beijing Sanlitun Taikoo Li flagship store, which is the brand’s largest store worldwide.
Beyond brick-and-mortar stores, the brand is also strengthening its omnichannel capabilities. For example, consumers can experience the Beijing Sanlitun Taikoo Li flagship store with a polar bear as a tour guide. Other fun digital initiatives include: augmented reality (AR) apparel and footwear try-ons; naked-eye 3D LED advertising; and Lunar New Year AR filters and red packet covers. These initiatives have successfully engaged Gen Z consumers and boosted brand awareness in new market segments.
The expansion and diversification of its product categories are set to consolidate Canada Goose’s evolution from a winter parka leader to a lifestyle brand of year-round relevance. Non-heavy-weight down sales accounted for 42.9 percent of sales in fiscal year 2023. More rainwear, footwear, and apparel products (including in hyper-feminine styles) are also being rolled out.
Aside from collaborating with local talents such as Shenzhen-born fashion doyen Angel Chen, the brand’s first-ever guest designer, and launching products such as footwear firsts, Canada Goose is boosting its relevance in China via its Humanature platform.
For its first-ever large-scale CSR program outside Canada, the brand launched the Sanjiangyuan National Park Nature Experience and Community Engagement Project in June this year at the source of the Yangtze River in Qinghai Province.
Operated in partnership with the Shan Shui Conservation Center, the project comprises a pilot village of 500 herding households in one of China’s first large-scale conservation research areas. Working with local herders, it will establish a long-term biodiversity monitoring network for endangered species and build a community nature experience program that can be replicated across the area with the aim of demonstrating sustainable solutions for local ecotourism and human-wildlife conflicts.
As Canada Goose continues its quest to keep “the planet cold and the people on it warm,” its CIIE showcase, narratives, and expanding influence clearly convey its long-term commitment to China, both as a growth engine and source of inspiration.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.