Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, Ontario
The Canada Goose brand has drawn enthusiasts for life and the outdoors to its high-performance apparel throughout its history. A brand rooted in Canada and known as a trusted outfitter, it recognized an opportunity to reposition its fine goods in the luxury market to compete with other retailers with similar-quality products. Richardson Design, partnering with architect David A. Levy and Associates, pitched a strategic and visual direction to showcase the handcrafted, coveted Canada Goose product as a true luxury. The Richardson team competed with seven other firms and won the opportunity to redefine and reposition Canada Goose as a mainstay in the luxury market. That included branding, designing a New York City showroom, and creating several shop-in-shop concepts to show department stores how Canada Goose fits into the luxury scene. Then came designing the flagship Yorkdale store in Toronto. Today, a fresh “arctic luxury” feel inspired by nature and honest beauty defines Canada Goose. Thoughtful use of materials throughout the store display Canada Goose’s spirit-evoking, fine quality products.
Materials that Showcase the Merchandise
The real luxury is the Canada Goose product and its craftsmanship. The store environment tells the brand’s story, transporting guests into a setting where they see the product in a more distinctive light. While there’s no question of the rugged nature and survival qualities of its coats, placing them in an environment with top-shelf materials changes the shopper perception.
The backdrop we call arctic luxury involved sourcing Canadian materials. Simple marble slabs that are handcrafted and scraped form a cash wrap. Playing off of the cool, large scale of the arctic, gigantic slabs of marble comprise many partitions in the space.
A fireplace focal point is a key storytelling element, symbolic of the protective quality, warmth and comfort Canada Goose offers. The brand has a loyal following, people who return to it and want to share its quality with others. They are part of the storytelling, and story. In that, the fireplace is constructed of authentic Wallace Creek marble, found in Canadian landscapes. The feature encourages store patrons to gather ‘round, experience, feel the luxury Canada Goose offers.
Overall, the store environment celebrates the Canada Goose fashion—pure, trusted, tradition, integrity, luxury.
Guest Experience Guides the Retail Space
Repositioning Canada Goose as a luxury brand meant giving patrons an opportunity to see and feel the product in a fresh light. To that end, the retail section of the store includes roomy displays so every detail of garments can be explored. A fit lounge delivers a couture experience. The space features an over-scaled mirror and bronze gradation (again, drawing in nature as a symbol of the rising sun). It provides a full-line accessory display so guests can pull together the finishing touches of their new look. The fit room concept takes Canada Goose to the luxury level by showing to guests how its products stand on their own as an essential element that can be complemented with fine accessories. A unique aspect of the store design is its vault retail space, again speaking to the brand’s luxury and personalization. Inside glass sliding-door vaults, premier Canada Goose collections are kept under lock and key. Attendants can help guests access what’s inside, much like revealing jewels in a case. The shopping experience at Canada Goose is designed to feel like a treat—and a retreat. Brand ambassadors in the store guide guests toward styles that suit their needs, then usher them into the fit lounge and assist with creating a look that’s personalized and rooted in Canada Goose.
Creating an Environment that Tells the Product Story
Overall, the branding and interior design services provided to Canada Goose highlight the brand as a true and coveted part of Canada’s spirit. Simple, luxe materials act as a rugged backdrop for the product and deliver a guest experience that’s satisfying and exclusive, yet accessible. The design positions Canada Goose as a luxury line, and the success of this concept resulted in the architect and Richardson designing retail stores, and shop-in-shops for Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew and Printemps.