Canada Goose brings snow but no inventory to new concept store
Canada Goose has opened a store without inventory to leave room to create an Arctic adventure.
Visitors enter “The Journey” at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto to first experience “The Crevasse,” a dimly-lit path with walls made to look and feel like stone. When visitors step on the OLED glass floor panels they “hear the sound of ice cracking beneath their feet, inviting them to leave the outside world behind,” according to Canada Goose’s statement.
Next, visitors encounter the “The Elements Room” where 4K laser devices in the ceiling project seasonal nature films shot in British Columbia onto a 60-foot curved wall, according to CNBC. In the middle of the room, Snow Mantra parkas displayed on mannequins feature interactive “hotspots,” allowing customers to explore specific functions and features.
Guests then head to the “The Cold Room,” where they try on jackets in temperatures reaching as low as negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold rooms were introduced to some of the brand’s stores last year, but the Toronto location is the only one to feature snow.
Two original films are projected onto the walls in the cold room, narrated by Iditarod champion, Lance Mackey, and Indigenous activist and artist, Sarain Fox. The films will change seasonally.
Finally, guests enter an area where they can speak with associates, get their questions answered and place orders at kiosks. Products purchased before 1:30 p.m. will be delivered the same day to consumers staying or living in the Greater Toronto Area.
“In retail, experience is everything — and trying on a Canada Goose jacket for the first time is a powerful experience,” said Dani Reiss, president and CEO. “This new store amplifies that moment by creating an environment that digitally and physically transports people into the Arctic in innovative, surprising, and inspiring ways.”
Bonobos’ Guideshops and Nordstrom Local are among the few inventory-less showrooms, but many retailers are adding experiential elements to their locations to support storytelling and differentiate from online selling.
Markus Giesler, an associate professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business, told Bloomberg that one risk with experiential initiatives is the expectation that the response will keep rising. “Consumers get easily bored,” said Mr. Giesler.
- Canada Goose Unveils the Sights of Nature, Sounds of the Arctic and Touch of Real Snow with New Concept Store – Canada Goose
- The new Canada Goose Toronto store doesn’t have inventory, but it does have a daily snowstorm – CNBC
- Canada Goose Shoppers Walk on Fake Ice, Real Snow in New ‘Store’ – Bloomberg
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the expansion potential of a hyper-experiential/inventory-less concept such as Canada Goose’s “The Journey” likely limited to a few showcase locations or does it suggest broader initiatives for retailing? What obstacles do you see in bringing such a concept to four-wall profitability?