Volume 96, Issue 13
Thursday September 19, 2002

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Roots

Most Canadian wardrobes have been infiltrated by foreign clothing companies – Gap, Guess, American Eagle, etc.. Despite these companies' popularity, few have made waves like Canada's very own Roots.

While at first the Canadian beaver was Roots' signature trademark, Roots gained world acclaim for its appearance in the 1998 Olympic games in Nagano, Japan. The entire world went Roots crazy and it all started with the poor boy caps, which sold out everywhere in Canada.

In 2002, a turning point in Roots history occurred when the United States' Olympic team made Roots the official outfitter of the 2002 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams. Better yet, Great Britain's Olympic team also decided on Roots as their brand of choice for the Olympics in Salt Lake City.



As much as we'd like to keep Roots our own little secret, it now has over 200 stores worldwide, with 140 in Canada, eight in the U.S., with 60 boutiques in Saks Group stores throughout the U.S., 40 stores in Korea and 13 in Taiwan.

Originally started in 1973 as a single store with a single product, Roots Negative Heel Shoe, Roots stores have expanded to include Roots Kids, Baby Roots as well as Roots Home – featuring furniture, linens and towels. Roots Air, an independent Canadian airline, also appeared for a short time, but disappeared quickly after a lack of business.

Hopefully, no matter how far this Canadian tradition flies, it will always remember its "roots" in the Great White North.

–Kristina Lundblad

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2002 THE GAZETTE