The brand began as Metro Sportswear in Toronto in 1957, targeting primarily city police departments and Canadian Rangers. In the 1970s, the company underwent a branding shift and marketed its apparel under the name "Canada Goose," with an Antarctic expedition being led in the 1980s in which the company's jackets were used.
The transition from having a reputation as a purely expeditionary, hardy, functional product to a major status symbol really accelerated for the company in 2010, when it started marketing its products to celebrities. In 2012, Canada Goose strategically distributed its apparel to prominent members of the film industry at the Sundance festival. After this, the coats have been shown off by the likes of Kate Upton, Daniel Craig, and Rihanna. Canada Goose has since often been the subject of pop culture music and films, being featured in songs by rapper Lil Uzi Vert and making an on-screen appearance in movies like Manchester.
The rise of Canada Goose in the west as a status symbol and pioneer of Arctic-strength heat retention also attracted many interested buyers in Asia, where the company's first flagship store opened in Tokyo in 2017. The store was an immense success because Canada Goose channeled all its initial efforts into using the right distributors: prominent retailer Sazaby League. This is a strategy it has adopted throughout Asia, establishing its brand name first in order to compete with knockoffs, particularly in places like China.
Canada Goose stated in its IPO filing that the nature of the business is such that varying consumer preferences have high levels of impact on its fiscal performance. This is because the company "is highly concentrated on a single, discretionary product category, premium outerwear." To reduce volatility, Canada Goose plans to diversify by doling out new items like knitwear, fleece, footwear, travel gear, and bedding.
On Thursday, the company beat estimates for its third fiscal quarter. Moreover, it raised its guidance for fiscal 2019, and is projecting future revenue growth to be in the mid-to-high thirties on a percentage basis, a step up from the earlier forecast of 30%.
However, the company has had its fair share of ethical and operational issues. It has been met with criticism from animal activists like PETA, who claim that "Canada Goose Kills." Moreover, because of the coats' high brand status, consumers walking around with them in areas such as Chicago and Boston have begun to be the subject of violent crimes and robberies, as the jacket marks them as wealthy targets.
Moving forward, Canada Goose will need to deal with the negative PR it receives from its supposedly cruel production techniques, or find a way to make its products more ethically digestible. It should also consider expanding some of its niche winter wear lines, including hats and sweaters, to solidify an even stronger brand presence across the globe.