Canada Goose isn’t the only Canadian outerwear company to achieve major success overseas. Westcomb Outerwear has seen a significant spike in exports of its winter-friendly coats in an unlikely market: China. Here, founder and creative director Alan Yiu explains what his company has done to become a global brand.
“We needed to be strong in North America first. With our type of gear—technical outdoor clothing—there’s a perception that Canadians know how to dress for harsh weather. Asian customers want to hear that the product is relevant in North America.
“Our biggest customer in China had a friend who bought one of our jackets in New York. That’s how she found out about us. Now, two years later, our Asian sales are greater than our North American sales. Plus, Hong Kong does have a cooler season. If you’re in 30 degrees Celsius most of the time, 15 degrees feels pretty cold. Even I shiver when I’m there.”
This story is part of the package in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Business. Click here for more useful, business-building tips, or here to subscribe to the magazine!
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