On Thursday, trendy coat company Canada Goose officially opened its fifth manufacturing plant, this one in Boisbriand and the first in Quebec. The factory currently employs 125 people, a number that is expected to spike to 450 by the end of 2018.
The 95,000 square foot plant will produce some of the company’s most popular products, including down filled winter coats.
Company CEO Dani Reiss and several local members of Parliament were on hand for the ceremony. They touted the benefits the factory will have on the local economy, saying the town’s restaurants will hopefully see an uptick in sales. Two hotels are also scheduled to be built near the plant to accommodate the workforce.
The announcement of new jobs is a welcome one for a town that was hit hard by the closure of a General Motors plant in neighbouring Ste Therese 15 years ago.
“Back in 2000 or so, many companies were taking their manufacturing offshore to presumably chase better margins,” said Reiss. “We decided to double down on Canada and commit to making products in Canada. Since that time, we’ve been able to grow substantially. Today, we have almost 2,000 employees, most of whom are in Canada.”
Canada Goose has other expansion plans according to company officials, the company has hired 500 people in Canada in the last year. Its products are exported to 37 countries and has opened flagship stores in Toronto and New York City, with others planned for London and Chicago.
Reiss said he is not too concerned about the fluctuating Canadian dollar.
“The Canadian currency has been all over the place in the past 20 years. We’re in not the business of trading currency, we’re in the business of making jackets,” he said.
There’s no denying there’s a market for winter coats in Canada, but whether that translates into sales for the made in Canada company, is a different question, said McGill University marketing professor Robert Soroka.
“Canadians typically are looking for price and quality, whether it’s made in Canada or made elsewhere. The Made in Canada brand is a nice political move, but as far as generating greater sales, the court is out on that one,” he said, adding, though, that, “The Canada Goose brand may be effective because Canada is known as a cold place and you’re protecting against the cold.