Wed, Jan 02, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Canada Goose’s first Chinese store draws crowds

Reuters, BEIJING

People line up outside the flagship store of luxury parka maker Canada Goose in Beijing’s Sanlitun District on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Large crowds have been drawn to Canada Goose Holdings Inc’s new outdoor wear store in downtown Beijing since its opening on Friday last week, despite sub-zero temperatures and a chill in China’s relations with Canada.

A long line of shoppers in thick winter coats waited outside the two-story store on Monday afternoon, with waiting times of an hour or more for a look at Canada Goose’s 9,000 yuan (US$1,308) parkas.

Canada Goose staff were walking up and down the line asking shoppers which product they were looking for and then telling them whether or not they had it in stock.

“It’s been popular for ages, but Beijing didn’t have one, only Hong Kong. So everyone’s come to see it,” Long Hua said, lining up outside the store with a friend.

Ties between China and Canada have turned frosty since the arrest last month of Huawei Technologies Co (華為) chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) in Vancouver at the request of the US and the subsequent arrest of two Canadians in China on suspicion of endangering state security.

Canada Goose opened its Beijing store about two weeks later than initially planned. It has made no connection between the delay and heightened tensions between the two governments, saying last month that the postponement was due to construction work.

On Monday, construction workers were still seen on scaffolding on one side of the store.

The parka maker has made no mention of the Beijing store opening on its Chinese social media platforms, although the store in Beijing’s swanky Sanlitun District is listed on the company’s global Web site.

“We are proud of our newest store in China and look forward to welcoming our fans,” Canada Goose said in an e-mail on Monday.

A buoyant sales outlook for China has been shaken by some caustic posts on Chinese social media calling for the boycott of Canada Goose products following Meng’s arrest.

Shares of Canada Goose have fallen about 37 percent in Toronto trading since Meng’s detention and the ensuing strains between the two nations. The shares gained 4.6 percent on Monday after rising as much as 9.6 percent earlier, their biggest intraday gain since Nov. 14.

Meng faces US allegations that she misled multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating US sanctions.

Meng has said she is innocent.

The stakes are high for the maker of high-end goose-down coats, which enjoy significant brand recognition in China’s big cities.

Chinese customers account for more than one-third of spending on luxury products worldwide and are increasingly shopping in their home market rather than overseas.

Earlier last year, Canada Goose opened its first store in Hong Kong.

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