Show me someone who says they like shopping for parkas and I will show you a dirty rotten liar.
For the majority of Canadians, procuring a new winter coat involves picking out, carrying around, and then trying on bulky garments in a warm store while jostling for mirror space, all the while trying to keep tabs on their own belongings.
It's a time-consuming, annoying and most of all expensive (yet oh so necessary) task... but at least you get to take home a brand new jacket at the end of it all!
Unless you don't, which will be the case if you decide to shop at the new Canada Goose store inside Toronto's CF Sherway Gardens.
Billed as "an innovative new retail concept," Canada Goose's newest location is set to open on Thursday, December 5, as the first of its kind anywhere. They're calling it "The Journey."
"The Journey redefines luxury shopping with a guided and fully interactive and experiential environment, where guests are immersed in the spirit of the outdoors," writes the Canadian outerwear brand of its latest addition.
"Designed to push the boundaries of e-commerce and retail, The Journey is an inventory-free retail concept that invites guests to explore the power of Canada Goose performance luxury apparel through inspiring digital content, interactive product displays, and the next generation of its award-winning Cold Room."
The company plans to do this with a combination of appointment-based services, interactive showrooms and "bespoke 4K content."
First, guests will be invited to step through a two-story glacier façade, which will lead them into a crevasse where they "hear the sound of ice cracking beneath their feet, inviting them to leave the outside world behind."
Customers will then get to try on Canada Goose jackets in a room with the temperature set at -12 C while surrounded by floor-to-ceiling Arctic landscapes.
The company promises that real snow will be involved in some capacity.
What customers can't do is buy jackets on site. Instead, guests must purchase products in store and have them delivered to their homes later on.
People who live in the GTA and buy jackets before 1:30 p.m. could get them as early as the same evening, while others might get their coats the next day.
"In retail, experience is everything — and trying on a Canada Goose jacket for the first time is a powerful experience," says the company's President and CEO, Dani Reese.
"The way people shop is changing and I'm excited to be a leader in defining the future of retail."
Canada Goose may be one of the first to do it intentionally, but the practice of "showrooming" — visiting a brick-and-mortar store to view or test out a product before going home to buy it online — is already a well-established phenomenon in the retail world.
Some 60 per cent of independent retailers in Canada have experienced showrooming behaviour in their stores, according to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and a third of them say it has taken a significant toll on their bottom lines.
It'll be interesting to see how an experience-only model works out for Canada Goose, which has come under significant fire in recent years for its use of animal products and charges upwards of $1,000 per parka in stores.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO