If you're a premium fashion company that sells winter coats that scoff at the $1,000 price barrier, you don't want to be listed by analysts as one of the most heavily discounted brands. But that's what happening for Canada Goose ($GOOS), makers of trendy winter coats that were — until recently — obligatory gear for the young and fashionable.
New data has revealed that the Toronto-based outerwear company has had to discount its jackets an average of 13% to move inventory in a signal that consumer enthusiasm for the brand is waning. Canada Goose spokespeople blame its inventory troubles on slower foot traffic at high-end departmnent stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, which cooroborates our reports that Saks has seen declining holiday foot-traffic boosts over the past three seasons.
Things may be even worse for Canada Goose than they appear, though: Review data tracked over the past three years indicates that the jacket maker's cold-season boost may be declining at its own e-commerce operation where discounting is virtually nonextistent.
Since the winter of 2016, review activity at CanadaGoose.com accelerates between the months of December and April as customers post thoughts about their new jackets.
In 2016 and 2017, review activity jumped by around 1,600 reviews on Canada Goose's own e-commerce site between the months of December and April. In 2018, that number dropped to around 1,400. And now an early slope for 2019 suggests that this season may be even slower.
Of course, it's still early in the 2019 winter season. It's possible that deeper discounting will instead move product and result in a throng of new customers reviewing their newly discounted Canada Goose Gear. And as these new customers arrive wondering "What was all the fuss about?", Canada Goose's review scores could change — for better or worse.
For the past couple years, average reviews for Canada Goose products have been consistent, moving slightly in the new year as new reviews come in, but moving only around a half-percentage point.
As the company discounts product to move it from shelves, it will be interesting to see how — and if — review activity is affected and as brand equity and integrity are, as John Morris at DA Davidson puts it, undercut.
Canada Goose is sold at more than 4,000 retail outlets globally, so discounting by region may vary wildly depending on local temperatures (both in terms of weather and brand perception).
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.
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