Canada Goose has cancelled the opening of its flagship China store, which was scheduled for Saturday, citing construction delays.
The cancellation comes as the luxury clothing company faces the ire of Chinese consumers, many of whom are upset over the Canadian arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
The Winnipeg-based company’s stocks declined nearly 20 per cent since last week’s arrest, after Chinese media encouraged a boycott of some Canadian products.
While Canada Goose stocks declined, the stocks of its Chinese rival company, Bosideng, reached a five-year high.
“They know that this is a national champion, it’s a great Canadian company, it’s owned by Canadians and they’re at the cusp of enormous growth in China so they picked a company where the timing couldn’t be worse,” said Bruce Winder, one of the founders of the Canada Retail Advisers Network.
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In a statement to Global News, the company maintained the opening was called off due to construction delays.
“Our Beijing store has been delayed slightly due to ongoing construction,” an email statement read.
It also noted that the company still plans to “move forward” with its Chinese expansions.
“We look forward to opening our newest store in the near future, but first and foremost we want to ensure that we provide the best experience for our fans and customers. We will continue to update the market as appropriate as plans progress.”
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Canada Goose had announced plans to open two stores in China earlier this year, along with a regional headquarters in Shanghai.
Winder cautioned that the company stands to lose a lot if its China plan is significantly impacted by this boycott.
“Because of the number of affluent consumers in China, which would be in the tens or hundreds of millions, Canada Goose can’t mess up the whole China play and expansion,” Winder said.
Just before Meng’s arrest, Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss boasted about the company’s success in China to The Globe and Mail.
“We definitely have a lot of brand recognition here, which is great,” Reiss said, adding that the potential to expand was “absolutely massive.”
In China and elsewhere, the Canadian company’s jackets have been worn by notable personalities, leading to the rise in popularity.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Asia’s richest person, was spotted wearing a Canada Goose jacket earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
— With files from Marek Tkach