Varshney Capital Corp.Suite 2050 West Georgia StreetVancouver, BC V6E 3P3CanadaTo Whom It May Concern:Oiseau, the French translation for “bird,” is a San Francisco based contemporarywomens boutique that focuses exclusively on sustainable and eco-friendly fashionand accessories. The store will ideally be located in Downtown Vancouver.The goal of Oiseau is to show our customer that she doesn’t have to wear hempand tie-dye to be “green.” She can still be fun, playful, and fashionable. The storewill intend to carry a mix of basic and fashion items from brands that focus on theidea of sustainability, such as Alternative Apparel, Loomstate, and Edun.Oiseau seeks to target young women aged 18-30 who are urban, trend-aware,and of course, interested in the environment and sustainability. Many of theseconsumers would already live and shop in the downtown area. Yet the store canalso expect traffic from tourism, and from residents of other districts who visit thedowntown shopping area.Pricing will be aligned with stores with somewhat similar demographics, especiallywhere they pertain to fashion-conscious, relatively affluent, Generation Yconsumers. Essentially, Oiseau will aim to replace items that would normally beoffered to this consumer with eco-friendly ones. The store will focus on products inthe contemporary price point.Notably, Oiseau will essentially have no direct competition within the downtownVancouver area. While there are some stores focusing on eco-friendly clothing,none seem to focus solely on contemporary fashion. Store that carry eco-conscious lines are most often not promoting them as such.Industry reports strongly suggest that not only does “green” fashion have a strongand loyal following, but that the trend is expected to grow despite economicadversity. In addition, the mission of the store is strongly aligned with the city’soverall mission.Oiseau would surely be a strong addition to Varshney Capital’s environmentallyconscious portfolio.Sincerely,Raylin WrightFounder and Owner
Corporate and ProductBackground Oiseau, the French translation for “bird,” is a SanFrancisco based contemporary womens boutique thatfocuses exclusively on sustainable and eco-friendlyfashion and accessoriesThe company primarily targets women aged 18-30who are urban, fashionable, trend-aware, andinterested in the environment and sustainability.The target country for trade is Canada. Specifically,Oiseau intends to extend its brand to Vancouver,British Colombia. Vancouver is a relatively affluent,young, technologically savvy cosmopolitan city with ahigh interest in social and ethical activism.
Product OverviewGreg Alterman, founder of Alternative Apparel, once said in an interview,”Everybody has to wear clothing, so you might as well wear something good forthe earth.”Oiseau seeks to carry a mix of basic and fashion items from brands that focus onthe idea of sustainability.Our goal is to show our customer that she doesn’t have to wear hemp and tie-dye to be “green.” She can still be fun, playful, and fashionable. Below are brandsthat Oiseau feel be key performance brands because of existing marketpresence, assortment, and fashionability.Clothing brands will remain largely static between US and Canadian channels.Garment selections will vary based on regional differences, and of course,consumer preferences.It is important to note that Vancouver’s weather is markedly similar to SanFrancisco’s. Both markets could potentially learn from each other, despitegeographical separation.Alternative Apparel focuses on authenticity and comfort. In 1995, the company setout to create the perfect t-shirt – one that was “designed for fashion, made forcomfort, and tailored for a flawless fit. The company has since expanded toinclude a multitude of fashion garments. Oiseau will carry the lined titled AlternativeEarth, which focuses on eco-friendly and sustainable apparel.www.alternativeapparel.com/alternativeearthAlternative Earth will be Oiseau’s primary source of basic items such as tee shirts(non-graphic), sweatshirts, jersey pants, and non-fashion cardigans. WhileAlternative Earth is a diffusion line, consumers would likely recognize AlternativeApparel.
The mission of Edun is to help build Africa as a viable source of production forfashion. Founded on the premise of trade not aid, EDUN is a for profit businessthat aims to raise awareness of the possibilities in Africa to encourage emulation.To help achieve this goal, EDUN is investing in the development of a community-based value chain, beginning with organic cotton. 3www.edunonline.comEdun would be a source of fashion apparel for Oiseau. Products would includedresses, fashion tops, sweaters and cardigans, outerwear, and select graphictees.Dedicated to creating a demand for organic cotton and socially responsiblemethods of production, Loomstate focuses their design approach on their respectfor nature. Natural shapes and colors influence their casual clothing, which isprimarily made up of graphic tees and jeans.www.loomstate.orgLoomstate will likely become the primary denim brand of Oiseau, both because oftheir relatively wide assortment of styles, and because the brand is already wellknown and will be familiar to consumers. Graphic tee shirts will also be included.Loomstate does produce other garments such as fashion tops, dresses andouterwear. Oiseau will consider these items, but they will be carried to a muchlesser extent than the brand’s denim or tee shirts.
Designed by a former sculptor and a fashion industry buff, Prairie Undergroundcreates unique, earth friendly garments crafted from organic cotton and wool.www.prairieunderground.com Prairie Underground will be Oiseau’s largest supplier of outerwear. The company carries an impressive selection of blazers and jackets, and fashion knits such as sweatshirts, leggings, and dresses.Oiseau will also consider merchandise and clothing that promotes a charity,cause, or social issue. These items will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Katharine Hamnett – Nahui Ollin - made by for Enviornmental impoverished Mexicans Justice Campaign to from discarded candy end illegal fishing wrappersIn addition to providing consumer with sustainable merchandise, Oiseau seeks toeducate the public on the eco-conscious lifestyle. Publications might include Boho,and Peppermint (from Australia). Books could include Green Chic, Eco-Chic: TheFashion Paradox, and Style, Naturally.
Cultural, Political, Legal, and EconomicBackgroundHistory“A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada becamea self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the Britishcrown. Economically and technologically the nation has developed inparallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across an unfortifiedborder. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting publicdemands for quality improvements in health care and educationservices, as well as responding to the particular concerns ofpredominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop itsdiverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to theenvironment.” CIA World FactbookGeographyCanada itself is a large, expansive country covering the majority of the northernportion of North America. The topography is diverse – ranging from mountainousterrains, to prairies, to vast forests, to shorelines, and even tundra in the mostnorthern regions of the country.Vancouver itself is a Canadian coastal city located in the Lower Mainland ofprovince British Colombia. It is located on the Burrard Peninsula, with the BurrardInlet to the North and the Fraser River to the South.The city is located approximately 115 miles from Seattle, Washington.ClimateVancouver is atemperate city byCanadian standards.Normally, it is classifiedas Oceanic or MarineWest Coast. During Julyand August, the summermonths, the climate istypically dry. These daysare drier and sunnier withmoderate coastalbreezes. During late falland winter, the climate is
rainy. Snow falls roughly 11 days per year, however it doesn’t often remain on theground.On a yearly average, temperatures fall between 33 decrees Fahrenheit and 71decrees Fahrenheit. The city famously grows palm trees as an indicator that theclimate is temperate is comparison to the rest of the country.The City of Vancouver is located roughly one half hour (driving) south of severalpopular ski resorts.TopographyWhile the country of Canada is topographically diverse, the city of Vancouver isrelatively conformational. While there are hills and several instances ofmicroclimates, it is not as varied as the rest of the province or country.The North Shore Mountains serve as Vancouver’s famous backdrop. On cleardays, Washington’s Mount Baker is visible to the southeast. Vancouver Island is situated across the Strait of Georgia. Bowen Island is to the northwest. Vancouver is home to one of the largest urban parks in North America. Stanley Park, which is more than 10% larger than Central Park in New York City, covers 1001 acres. Social InstitutionsAs of the 2006 Canadian census, it was reported that 85.2% of Canadian citizenswere living in a private dwelling with relatives. 10.6% were living alone. 2.5% lived inprivate households with non-relatives, and 1.7% lived in collective dwellings.While the population of Canada shows in increase of citizens living alone, themajority of Canadians live with family members or spouses.According to a 2007 survey, 57% of Canadians agreed, “there is no such thing asa typical family.” Family structure has changed drastically over the passed 50years, with today’s families populated by step-siblings, same-sex parents,extended relatives, and, increasingly, couples alone.
EducationThere is a high drive among Canadians to seek postsecondary credentials. This ishaving a profound impact on society overall, because it is delaying marriage andaltering the form and function of Canadian families.48% of Canadians aged 25 years to 64 years of age have either a college oruniversity education.Canada spends roughly 7% of its GDP on education. Public education is provided,and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Most school systemsare structured like those of the US, with K-6 primary education, and secondaryeducation until grade 12.PoliticsPolitical SystemCanada functions within the framework of a constitutional monarchy and a federalsystem of parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions.Governmental structure was first established by the British parliament through theBritish North America Act. Post WWI, Canadians began to develop a strong senseof identity, and the British government showed intent to grand autonomy. TheStatute of Westminster gave legal recognition in 1931.Political PartiesThe two largest parties in Canada are the Conservative Party and the LiberalParty, however, many other parties have and do exist, including the Green Partyand the Libertarian.The Vancouver civic government is dominated by the centre-right Non-PartisanAssociation.StabilityCanada is normally considered to be a stable democracy. The Economist rankedthe country the third most democratic nation in its democracy index in 2006, andnumber 11th in 2008.Taxation
Roughly 31% of a single person’s (with no children) income is paid to taxes. Bycomparison, the rate in the US is 29%. A household with two children paysapproximately 21.5%. In the US, that number is 11.5%. The majority of theserevenues come from property and payroll taxes.Legal SystemThe Canadian legal system has a foundation in the British common law system,being a former member of the United Kingdom. The constitution is the nation’ssupreme law, which is similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom. Powersare also assigned to provincial and territorial governments.The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court in the nation, and the finalcourt of appeal in the Canadian Justice System.Social OrganizationsSocial ClassesRoughly 3-5% of Canadians fall into the Upper Class category, with 1% beingUpper-upper earners, distinguished by “old money,” and the remaining beinglower-uppers, depending more on earnings and inherited wealth.Roughly 40-50% of the population is comprised of the middle class. There isconsiderable racial and ethnic diversity in this class. The upper-middle typicallyworks in professional or upper-managerial fields, while the lower-uppers work inless prestigious jobs.The working class comprises approximately 1/3 of the population. They havevirtually no accumulated wealth. The remaining 20% is the lower class. Race, Ethnicity, and Subculture Vancouver is known for its distinctive ethnic mix. 51% of the city’s population belongs to a visible minority. The largest minority population is comprised of Chinese immigrants. Roughly 51% of the city’s population is
not native speaking.Religion and AestheticsThe largest religions in Canada are Catholic (42%) and Christian (40%). However,the population is relatively segregated, with the highest concentration of Catholicsin French Quebec.Roughly 16% of the population describes themselves as having no religiousaffiliationVancouver is home to a number of notable musicians throughout several decades.The Vancouver opera is the major opera in the city, and it is also home to theVancouver symphony orchestra. The city was home to influential punk rock bandssuch as Subhumans. Today, it is home to a number of popular indie bands suchas Destroyer and Tegan and Sarah.During the 1980s, the city was home to the Vancouver School of ConceptualPhotography, which was a grouping of photographers interested inphotoconceptualism.Vancouver is called “The Hollywood of the North,” and is a major film andproduction center.Living ConditionsDiet and NutritionCanada is much like the United States in respect to diet. There aren’t manytraditional cultural dishes still eaten today by the majority of the population. Dietvaries from region to region.People in the British Colombian province tend to eat healthier overall. There is asignificant consumption of fish, largely due the coastal location. Approximately 6%of British Columbia define themselves as vegetarian, however this term is oftenused loosely, with many still consuming fish.Also like the United States, Canada struggles with a growing obesity rate. Of thoseover 18, 23% of the population was obese. 36% were overweight.HousingVancouver is the 4th most densely populated city in North America, after NYC,San Francisco, and Mexico City.
The vast majority of city dwellers reside in high-rise apartment complexes. Thedesign of the city advocates high-rise buildings over expansion. In addition, manyurban industrial sites are being redeveloped into lofts and studio space.ClothingThe majority of the Canadian population no longer wears cultural clothing.Vancouver citizens generally dress like people would in a typical Northwestern UScity such as Seattle or Portland.In business settings, trendy clothing is often frowned upon. Women should wearmore conservative dresses or business suits, and men should wear a dark,conservative suit with a tie. Casual attire is, of course, acceptable when notworking.RecreationBecause of the proximity to numerous ski resorts, many citizens of Vancouvereither ski or snowboard as a form of recreation during colder months.Many people prefer simply being outdoors – walking through Stanly Park or alongthe many beaches. Beaches surround the city, however, the water is too cold formost water-sports. The wilderness which surrounds the city provided manyopportunities for hiking and camping.There are several golf courses throughout the greater Vancouver area.Per year, the average Canadian family spends $7,994 on recreation.Social SecurityCanada operates the Old Age Security pension and the Canada Pension Plan.Old Age security is a taxable monthly social security payment available to mostCanadians aged 65 or over. The basic amount is $502 per month. Recipients witha net income of over $64,700 must pay back %15 of net income.The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory, earnings-related social program. Theprescribed contribution rate is roughly 5% of a salaried worker’s gross earnings.The employer matches the employee contribution. Payouts begin at age 65.Healthcare in CanadaGuided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act, adopted in 1984, healthcarein Canada is provided through a publically funded system. It is mostly free at thetime of usage. The government sets federal standards to help insure quality ofcare.
The government covers roughly 70% of an individual’s healthcare costs. Theindividual pays for dental and pharmaceutical expenses. Drug prices arenegotiated federally with suppliers to control costs. The elderly receive medicationsfor free. Most employers provide supplemental health insurance to help cover thecosts of prescriptions.Canada also has a Medicare system, and a single payer system.Despite reports of long wait-times for care, 87% of citizens report being satisfiedwith the current healthcare system.LanguageWhile there are a multitude of languages spoken across Canada, largely in part tothe large number of ethnic immigrant populations, the preferred languages areEnglish (67.1%) and French (21.5%), however over 90% of French-preferringspeakers reside in Quebec. Both languages are recognized as the nations officiallanguages.Overall, 20% have a different language as their native language. In Vancouver, thisnumber is reported to be as high as 53%.35% of the nation’s population describe themselves as bilingual, with 17.4%bilingual in English and French. 83% are “unilingual.”PopulationAs of November 2010, the population of Canada was 33,759,742. According tothe 2006 census, Vancouver had a population of 578,041, with the metropolitanarea just exceeding 2.1 million.Canada’s birthrate is slowly declining overall. The current birthrate is 10.28 per1000. This rate was the same as 2009, but 2008-2009 showed a decrease of.10%.According to the current population and birthrate, the number of live births peryear is approximately 347,050. The death rate is 7.87 per 1000. The overallgrowth rate of the country is 0.804%.Distribution of PopulationAccording to the CIA World Factbook, distribution is as follows:0-14 years: 16.1% (male 2,761,711 / female 2,626,836)15-64: 68.7% (male11,633,950 / female 11.381,735)65+: 15.2% (male 2,220,189 / female 2,862,787)The median age of the population is 40.7 years.
80% of Canada’s population resides in urban centers, meaning an area with atleast 1000 people and no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometer. There isan annual 1% rate of change. The net migration rate is 5.64 migrants per 1000.Canada’s population is divided as follows: 28% British Isles origin, 23% Frenchorigin, 15% other European, 2% Amerindian, 6% other (mostly Asian, African, Arab),and 26% mixed background. About 52% of Vancouver’s population is comprisedof visible minorities, approximately 33% of which are Chinese.Economic Statistics and ActivityCanada operates in Canadian Dollars. Currently, their dollar is almost comparableto the USD. 1 CAD = 0.995 USDCanada is described as being a high-tech, affluent country. The GDP is $1.279trillion. Canada ranks 15th in the world, between Spain and Indonesia. The RealGrowth Rate is -2.5%.Canada’s GDP is comprised of 2.3% agriculture, 26.4% industry, and 71.3%service..The personal income per capita is 38,200. Canada ranks 26th in the world.The average income per Canadian family is $70,400.Minerals and ResourcesCanada’s natural resource sector is a vital part of the country’s economy. Naturalresources make up approximately 12% of gross GDP. Energy accounts for 6.5%,Minerals 3.3%, and Forestry make up 1.9%TransportationMajor modes of transportation include airways, railways, and roadways. There are9 major ports in Canada, mainly used for shipping. In metro Vancouver, manycitizens simply walk to get around.Communication SystemsMajor forms of communication include landlines, cell phones, and Internet. Thereare 18.251 million landline users, 23.081 cell phone users, and 25.086 Internetusers.Principal Industries
Canada’s GDP is comprised of 2.3% agriculture, 26.4% industry, and 71.3%service.Agriculture includes wheat, barley, tobacco, fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, andforest products. Industries include transportation equipment, chemicals, petroleum,natural gas, and wood and paper product.US responsible for 75% of Canadian exports thanks to NAFTABanks emerged in 2009 from financial crisis among the strongest in the world.Major exports include motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft,telecommunications equipment, chemicals, plastics, wood pulp, timber, crudepetroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum.Major export partners include the US: 75%, UK: 3.37%, China: 3.09%. Exportsaccount for $323.4 billionImports include machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil,chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods. Import Partners: US – 51.1%, China– 10.8%, Mexico -4.56%. Imports - $327.2 billionThe labor force is comprised of 18.39 million people. Unemployment is estimated at8.3%.As of September, the inflation rate was 1.9%.
RetailersVancouver is much like any major US city in terms of retailers – there is a widevariety, and selection is often dependent on the neighborhood.Countrywide, major mass retailers include Costco, The Real Canadian Superstore(comparable to Wal-Mart), and Value Villiage, which is another discount chain.Drugstores and beauty supply stores include The Body Shop, Sephora, andPharma Plus.Women’s wear retailers include Zara, Esprit, and Jacob.Because Vancouver is a major tourist city, most retailers accept cash and majorcredit cards. Some restaurants and gift shops will accept US Dollars.Vancouver openly encourages business entrepreneurship. The city encouragesprospective business owners to seek funding in the form of venture capitalists. Thecity’s website also lists reasons why investors should choose to fund the city.Steps to operating a business are extremely informal. The city provides a list ofbusiness categories (Oiseau would fall under Retail – General) and activelyencourages growth. For a small retailer (under 4,700 square feet), a businesslicense is just under $150 per annum.Vancouver encourages partnering with a venture capitalist to ensure adequatefunding.Ultimately, Vancouver presents itself to the public much like a corporation would.MediaCanada is much like the US in terms of media available to citizens. The vastmajority has access to Internet and television.2 Public television broadcasting networks exist each with large network affiliates.Several private networks; overall, there are about 150 television stations. There aremulti-channel satellite and cable systems to provide access to stations, includingUS ones.The Canadian broadcasting Corporation operates 4 radio networks, and there areroughly 2000 licensed radio stations throughout the country.Market AnalysisBlocktalk.ca, a demographics firm in Canada, segmented residents of downtownVancouver, and classified 68.6% as being “Grads & Pads.” They are said to be,
“A collection of young, ethnically-diverse city dwellers living near universities, Grads& Pads represents the nations most liberal lifestyle. Its residents are a progressivemix of well-educated singles, students and recent grads, service workers andprofessionals ... With three-quarters of the adults unattached, Grads & Padsresidents are night owls who frequent health clubs, rock concerts, art galleries andballet performances. They like to drink: beer, tequila, rum, gin - you name it.Theyre also political activists who work for social causes, write to public officialsand volunteer for political parties and politicians who typically support their liberalviews.”The site notes that the medium income of this demographic is $42,289. The sitealso notes that this demographic is interested in community involvement, ethicalconsumerism, and are most-often liberal.The female half of this demographic would be the ideal consumer. Secondaryconsumers would include tourists, consumers looking for fashionable items, andconsumers interested in eco-friendly products, but who are not necessarily fashionor trend aware.The site states that there are 21,800 total adults residing in downtown Vancouver.Oiseau has a key consumer base of 7,477.The second key demographic residing downtown is called “Electric Avenues.”These are upper middle class urban singles. They often hold white-collar jobs. Thisdemographic is openly progressive with social views. The site notes that while thisgroup is not ostentatious when it comes to dress, they do spend “freely” ondesigner clothing, and are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.The median income of this group is $62,000. They comprise 9.2% of downtownVancouver. This would be an additional target consumer base of 1,003.The downtown area is home to shops that reflect the mostly young professionalneighborhood. Prevalent retailers include Zara Woman, BCBG, and Aritzia.Marketing RecommendationsVancouver is a city where not only citizens, but also the entire city itself areinterested in the green movement. The city actively promotes “green business”ventures, and is currently aiming to become the greenest city by 2020.While Vancouver’s largest economy is technological, there is growing interest fromoutside sources in the city’s green movement.Vancouver is home to Eco Fashion Week – an event comprised solely of eco-friendly designers and brands. The event’s figurehead is Giselle Bundchen. The
event is also comprised of a trade show. This would be an ideal event for Oiseauto attend. “We have the smallest carbon footprint of any major city in North America and we’re a leader in green building, planning and technology. We also have a bold new ambition: to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. And you can be part of it.”PricePricing will be aligned with stores with somewhat similar demographics, especiallywhere they pertain to fashion-conscious, relatively affluent, Generation Yconsumers. Essentially, Oiseau will seek to replace items that would normally beoffered to this consumer with eco-friendly ones. The store will focus on products inthe contemporary price point.PlacementOiseau is a brick-and-mortar retail store. There are no plans for a warehouse-typefacility, therefore if an e-commerce site existed, merchandise would come directlyfrom the store itself.Oiseau will utilize a traditional marketing channel, as merchandise will bepurchased from third-party vendors. The intermediaries used would be companysales representatives for the selected brands.Producer ⇒ Wholesaler ⇒ Retailer ⇒ ConsumerPromotionMedia- advertisements would be places in local magazines or publication. Becauseof the high tourism rate, media in other areas such as Seattle will be consideredPackaging - a reusable shopping bag would be given to the consumer tostrengthen the idea of sustainabilitySales Promotion - associated would be required to be well informed of productattributes as well as industry details such as why organic cotton is superior, etc.Point of Purchase - the store will carry books and publications that informcustomers about the eco-friendly lifestyleDirect Marketing - the store will utilize social networking sites such as Twitter andFacebook to inform consumers about new merchandise, trends, sales, events,etc. Emails could also be sent to consumers on a mailing list.
Special Events - many boutiques host special nights where a designer or personof interest in present. Oiseau will utilize this tactic in an effort to gain interest for thestore and to draw in new consumers.Oiseau will likely be present at events that concern fashion or a sustainablelifestyle. For instance, presence at events such as Eco Fashion Week would beideal.SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses •Strong brand image •Limited vendor selection •Entering “green” market during growth •Requires highly informed storephase personnel •No direct competition •Must be able to sell product on •Unique store concept aesthetics •No similar stores means difficult to tell if concept will work •Concept trumps product Opportunities Threats •Can easily expand to include •Volatile economic climatecosmetics, men’s, etc. •More stores may carry “green” •“Green” market expected to grow fashions if the trend grows •Many smaller vendors do not require •Little market datalarge purchase orders •Many e-commerce sites focusing on •More brands are adopting “eco” eco-fashionproduct, meaning larger selectionBrandingThe logo of Oiseau is a green bird. The bird, ofcourse, relates to the name, which is the Frenchtranslation. Consumers can also connect the color tothe idea of eco-friendly merchandise, and to nature.The typeface is clean and modern, and is meant toappeal to the store’s contemporary demographic.
PackagingIn lieu of traditional bags, Oiseau would utilize reusable shopping bags made fromorganic cotton. This would serve to strengthen the idea of the sustainability, evenafter the consumer has left the store.Business CardFront: Bird silhouette is cut out Branch embossed - convex on front Recycled cardboardBack: Bird silhouette is cut out Branch embossed - concave on back Letterhead
2185 Fillmore Street San Francisco, Ca 94115 • 415.607.5609 • oiseausf.com