Vancouver-based cashmere brand Black Goat is expanding beyond Canada's West Coast, having recently opened a boutique in the heart of Toronto's Mink Mile. The retailer plans to open more Canadian locations over the next several years, and we spoke with CEO Robert Remy to learn more.
Black Goat's cashmere products are designed in Vancouver and manufactured in Mongolia with the highest-quality cashmere. The company is vertically integrated, and sells a variety of cashmere products for men and women. Until last week, its only two brick-and-mortar store locations were both in Vancouver. Its downtown Vancouver location, at 925 West Georgia Street, benefits from heavy foot traffic and is across the street from Gucci, Omega, Louis Vuitton and other luxury retailers. Its second Vancouver location on Vancouver's tony South Granville strip is more of a 'destination', lacking heavy foot traffic.
Last week, Black Goat opened a 650 square foot retail space at The Colonnade in Toronto. Located at 131 Bloor Street West, the plaza is considered by many to be Canada's most prestigious retail address, with tenants such as Chanel, Prada, Mulberry and Cartier.
Mr. Remy tells us that he's opened a Toronto store because of customer demand. Black Goat enjoys a robust online business, and multiple requests from Torontonians prompted Mr. Remy to seek brick-and-mortar retail space. Mr. Remy says brick-and-mortar is preferable over wholesaling, as his stores can carry the entire range of the brand's cashmere products.
Mr. Remy says that a number of Hollywood stars are fans of his brand. This is partly a result of Vancouver's robust film industry, which sometimes purchases product from his stores. To protect confidentiality, Mr. Remy declined to name names.
Regarding future Canadian expansion, Mr. Remy says that a Calgary Black Goat location is a possibility, although a location has yet to be found. Montreal and Ottawa are also possibilities and Mr. Remy says that the brand could possibly eventually operate as many as three Toronto locations. Given that Black Goat does exceptional online sales in New York City, California (which he initially found surprising), London, and other markets, international expansion is also a possibility some day.
We'll continue to keep you updated on Black Goat's Canadian expansion.