Trumping the quality menswear market in Canada, Harry Rosen plays a leading role in crafting Canadian style. Lacking the tradition and moderate climate of some European nations, Canada compensates with an eclectic mix of styles—from Montreal hip to the unbound optimism of Calgary’s business community—intensified by the willingness of Canadian’s to accept new things. “We are a country of cultural diversity,” said Rosen. “Our ability to accept newness goes part and parcel with that.”
In charting the firm’s fifty-two year history, Rosen attributed many milestones of success to his father’s distinct leadership style. In a front-page article in the Globe and Mail recently, Harry Rosen, referring to his son, was quoted saying, “I’m more of an independent thinker. He likes to discuss his ideas and get the support of his management group.”
Unlike his father, Rosen thinks trust plays a key role in empowering management’s decision making abilities. “I think a company needs a clear vision and a clear strategic plan. When you have a clear plan its amazing what well empowered people can accomplish within it,” said Rosen.
In its half century lifetime the company has progressed from a single store on Toronto’s Parliament Street to a nationwide chain of 16 stores in all of Canada’s major markets. Plans for further expansion are on the table.
Rosen also emphasized his father’s vision for strengthening customer loyalty through a firm commitment to individualized relationships with customers. “We are in the business of relationships,” explained Rosen, describing the concept. Harry Rosen’s sales representatives rely on an intuitive client information database to cultivate the personalized service and their sales commission is tied to their ability to maximize long-term prospects.
Harry Rosen’s product line straddles both avante-garde and conservative markets and the brand image is epitomized in the pages of harry—the retailer’s catalogue (disguised as a high-end fashion magazine) distributed to 100,000 of Rosen’s best customers. The effort to appeal to both demographics is evident.
Rosen’s infectious spirit of entrepreneurship and insightful leadership tips were not lost on The Advantage Board members, senior level executives from Toronto’s diverse business community, who gather monthly each accompanied by a rising star to nurture future leaders and reward excellence. The last thing any organization wants to do is overlook their top performers, with The Advantage Board—which ranks 15th in the Profit Hot 50 growth companies—it doesn’t have to be that way.