It is not everyday that a Canadian company, operating in Canada, doubles its manufacturing capacity, but high-end winter wear maker Canada Goose has just done that. The company famous for its parkas opened a new global headquarters in Toronto, including a 96,000-square-foot factory which doubles previous production capacity. The company also announced expansion at its Winnipeg production facility. The combined expansions have added close to 200 new manufacturing jobs as well as numerous management and administrative positions. Canada Goose said in a statement that it expects to continue adding jobs to meet “growing global demand for its iconic made-in-Canada outdoor luxury apparel.”
The company’s sales have grown more than 4,000 per cent in the past decade, the statement says, selling its luxury winter coats and extreme weather outerwear in more than fifty countries now. The Financial Post reported that sales last year reached $200 million.
Finding skilled sewers to put the garments together was one of the challenges the company faced in its latest expansion. It was able to solve the problem by creating in-house training programs, and by working with government and community organizations. Canada Goose now employs 6 per cent of the cut and sew labour force in Canada.
The president of Canada Goose, Dani Reiss, said that he and the company were committed to keeping production in Canada. A majority stake in the company was bought last year by Bain Capital in the United States, but Reiss said the sale made it possible for the company to grow and increase its penetration in the US market. It is reported that keeping production in Canada was part of the deal with Bain, which has a reputation for ruthlessly outsourcing and shutting down factories in North America. This became an issue in the last presidential election campaign, as the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, had been chairman of Bain Capital.
“We made a decision to keep production at home and we continue to invest in rebuilding manufacturing infrastructure here in Canada to deliver on that commitment. We’re proud of the new jobs we’ve created and to help spread the brand of Canada around the world,” Reiss said.
Canada’s minister of finance, Joe Oliver, called the company “a Canadian treasure,” saying that the factory expansion will benefit the whole country.