RW&Co expands its roster of empowering personalities

Olympians, actors and activists help broaden the scope of the retailer's community-building efforts.

Reitmans -Canada- Limited-RW-CO- partners with Manjit Minhas and-3RW&Co. is looking for empowering voices outside the world of entrepreneurs, this time adding Olympians and other motivators to its latest empowerment-focused video series campaign.

The “Rise Up” campaign again features its Spring 2021 ambassadors, Dragons Den panelists Manjit Minhas and Lane Merrifield, this time joined by Ottawa-based, interior design duo Melissa and Sacha LeClair.

RW&Co. is adding Olympic medalists Andre De Grasse and Jennifer Abel to the mix of personalities its spotlights, as well as Michaella Shannon and Actor Hamza Haq. Shannon is a a member of Frog Lake First Nation, who speaks publicly about drug use and its links to suicide and is an advocate for young women’s self-esteem. Hamza, of CTV medical drama Transplant, meanwhile, is also an activist seeking more diverse representation in the film industry.

For the French language market, the retailer is tapping Quebecois actress, author and domestic violence survivor Ingrid Falaise.

Minhas-dragon-RWEach ambassador’s unique story – like Haq’s about vulnerability being a source of strength – will be featured in an “RWConversations” video series, showcased both online and in-store. 

“They each speak to an inspiring ability to meet challenges head on and, against the odds, rise to the occasion,” says Michele Slepekis, VP of marketing and e-commerce at RW&CO.

The new campaign is aimed at communicating a spirit of empowerment through an expanded roster of personalities that reflects the full “mosaic of Canadian individuals,” the company says. The “Ready To Reimagine” campaign earlier this year was more specifically targeted at small business owners in the fashion sector as way to both focus on their perseverance, as well as use its recently expanded product assortment in an attempt to capture gaps in the market.

In May, parent Reitmans, which operates 78 RW&Co.-branded stores, positioned itself as the inclusive destination for Canadian women looking to update their wardrobe, by highlighting the country’s cultural diversity with its “Diversity is the Fabric of Canada” campaign, created in collaboration with Cossette and with help from Ethnicity Matters. 

Reitmans, which closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners as part of its restructuring, in May reported that sales for Q1 of the 2022 fiscal year increased by $40.0 million, or 49.2%, to $121.3 million, primarily due to the company experiencing a partial, rather than full lockdown during the first quarter of 2022 as compared with a year prior. 

According to Friday Stats Canada data, retail sales jumped 4.2% to $56.2 billion in June – led by clothing and accessories, up a whopping 49.1% – due to easing of COVID-related restrictions and comparison to last year’s lockdown-ravaged sales figures.