PLANT

Canada Goose acquires Toronto manufacturing facility from contractor

Acquisition adds 70 employees and is expected to boost efficiency by 25%


TORONTO — Canada Goose has acquired a new manufacturing facility in east Toronto as the luxury parka maker anticipates another year of rapid growth.

The outerwear brand announced it has purchased, for an undisclosed amount, a 45,000 square-foot facility from Grand Harbour Clothing, which had been making Canada Goose garments under contract.

The company says the acquisition adds 70 employees to its staff and is expected to boost efficiency by 25%. Canada Goose will produce its line of lightweight jackets and vests, called the HyBridge Lite collection, at the site.

It also plans to invest in new technologies and infrastructure to retool the facility, which is the company’s second manufacturing plant in the region.

President and CEO Dani Reiss said Canada Goose expects to grow by 40% in all of its key markets in 2015, with continued expansion in the US driving that growth.

Many Canadian brands turn to the US first when they look to export their products, but Canada Goose took a different route.

“Because of how excited Europe was about our brand at the time, we started building our consumer brand in Europe first,” Reiss said in an interview.

Popularity in Canada, and now the US, was soon to follow.

“It’s great that we actually have a market like that right now to grow into and learn from all of the mistakes we made along the way,” said Reiss. “It’s an exciting time.”

Reiss said the company’s new acquisition is a reminder of its commitment to manufacturing its products in Canada. While many of Canada Goose’s competitors have shifted garment manufacturing to Asia in recent years, Reiss – who in 2001 took over the business his grandfather founded in a Toronto warehouse more than 55 years ago – insisted on maintaining the company’s made-in-Canada brand.

“It’s very important, very strategic for us to be able to make this investment to support the Canadian manufacturing infrastructure in the apparel category,” he said.

Canada Goose has been growing quickly over the past decade. Its premium parkas have been featured everywhere from Hollywood flicks to the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.

Even after snatching up the new manufacturing plant, Reiss said the company is still committed to expanding its other Toronto facility, which houses both a factory and the company’s corporate headquarters, by around 50,000 square feet this year.

“Our front office is, unbelievably, out of space again,” he said.

More products, possibly outside of the outerwear category, are also in the works, but Reiss said he was not ready to provide any details.

“We have a lot of thoughts and ideas about what we might do in the future,” he said.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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