When a Hatley store opens it's a call for celebration. The family retail store hosts a puppet show for 3 days during the opening week of a new store. And, even the moose and bearthe company mascotis in attendance.
"Word of mouth spreads fast," says Chris Oldland, owner of the Montreal-based novelty pajama company. "Our regulars know us, and they always seem to spread the word. Also, we often have a few travelers stopping by."
Amongst the shoppers are women shopping for their families because Hatley is a one-stop-shop for family apparel. Included in the mix of apparel available for the family is pajamas, henleys, socks, tank tops and sleepshirts, tights and boxers. But Hatley merchandise doesn't end with intimate apparelHatley carries rain gear, kitchen items, tote bags and a slew of miscellaneous products in humorous, animal themes. And thus far, most popular prints have included horses and bears.
"Everyone loves animals, so we carry things for infants, tweens, momswe literally sell to everyone," said Oldland. "Everything from infant pajamas to sportswear and rain gear. It's fun for every age."
On average, women spend $200 in a single visit, with $45 the average for ladies wear, and $30 for kids. But one thing that keeps the regulars back, Oldland believes, is the assortment and availability of new pieces. Three new collections and prints are introduced in a month, providing shoppers with 36 new prints a year.
The first Hatley store opened in 2004, and now four years later there are 8 with various boutiques carrying the Hatley merchandise throughout Canada and the US.
"It's not a franchise, but more like a shop in shop," said Oldland. "We give a store furniture and create a Hatley section in their store."
Hatley started the shop in shop program two years ago, and currently, hundreds of stores have welcomed the brand into their boutique. Dealers in the program must have been in business for a minimum of 6 months, willing to carry a fair amount of Hatley apparel and use Hatley furniture throughout the store.
The fun ambiancewhich compliments Hatley's theme of quirky animal prints and casual wearis also present throughout Hatley shop in shops. Furniture used throughout the stores are made of pine or maple and are placed in front of white walls, allowing the bright colors from the merchandise to merely "explode," says Oldland. "It's fun. It's all humor and color with great quality. Things are well designed and everyone can feel welcome shopping there."
Hatley also fulfills various social responsibilities, as it launched the Hatley Global Water Initiative to help communities maintain clean and adequate water resources to protect the health of its local residents in addition to maintaining local industry. Hatley is donating a percentage of its profits ever year to dedicated water based charities. Additionally, Hatley ensures that every Hatley bag is biodegradable.