Dani Reiss, President and CEO of Canada Goose
Rick Madonik | Getty Images
Canada Goose CEO said on Friday that the retailer's recently opened retail store in Canada was "almost built for this environment" as consumers brave enough to venture out looking for activities during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Of course it is socially distant," Managing Director Dani Reiss told CNBC in a telephone interview on Friday afternoon about the store. "There aren't many people who shop at the same time. It's an experience in a controlled way."
Canada Goose, famous for its extreme weather outerwear, opened the CF Sherway Gardens Mall in Toronto at the end of last year before the Covid 19 crisis began.
The entrance to the Canada Goose concept store is called "The Crevasse". The floor simulates ice cracking as shoppers walk forward.
Source: Canada Goose
This particular store, the first of its kind for the company, has no inventory that buyers can take home. Instead, the coat maker wants consumers to have a multi-sensory experience to feel why the outerwear is worth the price, which can exceed $ 1,000. It calls it "The Journey". The store consists of several cold rooms where Canada Goose equipment is displayed – including a room where snow is spit out.
"There has been a fairly healthy flow of traffic from people who have had this experience," said Reiss of how shoppers have returned in the past few weeks amid a pandemic. "It's kind of a break with the madness of today's world. I think it did really well."
All retailers are trying to find ways to get customers back to shopping, albeit safely.
But many buyers say they are afraid to return to stores where others shuffle through clothes racks and other accessories.
The "Elements Room" in Canada Goose's newest location where shoppers can experience its products. The room changes depending on the season.
Source: Canada Goose
Although the decline in US retail traffic slowed from week to week, they recently accelerated again, according to ShopperTrak data, with Covid 19 cases still rising sharply in hotspots like Florida and Texas. A number of retailers, including Sur La Table, Neiman Marcus, J.Crew and Brooks Brothers, have been marginalized and filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic.
Similar to North America, Canada, "some parts are very open and others are not," said Reiss. "It is almost too early to draw trend lines."
Unlike some of its retail counterparts that run hundreds of stores, Canada Goose only has 20 locations today. The company is still looking to open more. It appears on a seemingly ever shorter list of names that continue to grow in the inpatient sector, as many other retailers are finally closing their doors.
When Canada Goose reported earnings last month, it said it expected "negligible sales levels" in the June quarter, citing the impact of Covid-19 and the seasonality of its business.
"We're on the road to recovery," Reiss told CNBC.
"When we get into our season … and it gets colder, people want to go for a walk outside," he added that consumers will have to invest in a winter coat later this year. Especially when many interior facilities such as gyms are closed. "People see our products as an investment product. It keeps you super warm. Our products are considered indispensable products."
Canada Goose shares fell about 38% this year.