After almost two months, luxury winterwear maker Canada Goose has finally Posted a statement on December 1 in response to allegations of unfair return policies targeting consumers on the Chinese mainland.
In October, the brand came under fire in China when a customer would have purchased a down jacket from a Canada Goose store in a Shanghai mall and was unable to return the product. The dissatisfied customer claimed the jacket had the wrong logo, rough stitches and smelly fabric.
However, the store refused to return the product, referring to its return policy: “All products sold in exclusive boutiques in mainland China are non-returnable.”
Internet users were (and remain) mad on the news, with some calling for the brand to be banned.
Canada Goose responded to the controversy on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, saying that “products sold at exclusive stores in mainland China are returnable and refundable where they comply with the law.”
Internet users are always not happy with the answer.
“Canada Goose is so embarrassing… It’s as easy as a fart to return or exchange their products to other countries. Why do you put such overlord clauses on the Chinese mainland? reads the top-voted comment under the brand’s statement.
“The statement actually says: I didn’t say you weren’t allowed to return products, but that’s the reality,” read another.
Canada Goose also made waves on social media in September for allegedly misrepresenting the contents of its down garments. The penalty: a fine of 450,000 RMB (about 70,000 USD).
The penalty was outlined by China’s trade regulator, the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System (NECIPS), in a statement explaining the company’s violations.
Chinese netizens were quick to comment on the fine. Many, it seems, were not down with the so-called penalty, arguing that the fine was too low and that the statement accompanying the NECIPS ruling amounts to a “down jacket buying guide”.
Amid the initial scandal, the state-backed newspaper Economic Daily published an op-ed accusing the parka producer of not understanding China’s advertising laws.
“The moon is not rounder in foreign countries, and foreign down jackets are not warmer,” the September 8 article said, adapting an old Chinese colloquialism.
“The 450,000 penalty is a little too light – the cost of just 40 big goose jackets. Is this consumer fraud?” asked one netizen on Weibo.
Indeed, a down jacket containing feathers from the eponymous Canadian poultry, the Canada Goose, sells for over $1,500. According to its official website, the Toronto-based brand actually has the most stores in China out of its 35 stores globally, with 13 in mainland China and another four in Hong Kong, Taipei and Macau.
Meanwhile, other netizens argued in favor of the information included in the NECIPS ruling, with one saying, “Ordinary people do not have the ability to discern the quality of various products, and yet minus the ability to identify whether ads are boastful. Therefore, consumers can only rely on market monitoring and management systems at all levels to perform their duties seriously and become the “economic guardians” of the market economy. »
The NECIPS statement details the different types of down – white and gray – and their source animals – ducks and geese, arranged in a way not unlike what you might find in a particular section of a down manual. ‘ornithology.
White goose down is said to be the premium material, followed by gray goose down, white duck down, and finally gray duck down, with decreasing warmth, quality and cost all in that order.
Also detailed are the different proportions of down in a given garment (there must be at least 50% down for a garment to be marketed as a down product) and what actually constitutes down, as opposed to other parts of down. ‘a feather.
Daxue Consulting based in Shanghai studied the increase in demand for down jackets and changing consumer trends related to the products. The company found that Chinese consumers today are paying more attention to the type and quality of materials used inside down garments, with a noticeable increase in preference for goose down. .
China itself is the largest producer of goose feathers and duck down in the world, primarily as a by-product of the animal agriculture industry.
With a domestic market value of RMB 121 billion in 2019 and growing demand for down jackets ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, industry knowledge, it seems, is even a matter of Safety: Care instructions for down garments reveal that improperly cleaning your expensive down-filled fabrics could inadvertently cause an explosion.
Surely the last thing you need is a fluffy A-bomb in the laundromat after a family trip to the ski resort, right?
Cover image via Unsplash