Bayshore Reitmans rebrands as 'Reitwoman' for International Women's Day
The Reitmans at Bayshore Shopping Centre has temporarily rebranded as "Reitwoman" to mark International Women's Day 2020. (Photo credit Kevin Belanger / CNW Group/Reitmans (Canada) Limited)
OTTAWA -- Shoppers at Bayshore will notice a changed logo at one of the stores this weekend.
Women's apparel brand Reitmans is changing its name temporarily to "Reitwoman" to mark International Women's Day: March 8, 2020.
"The brand wishes to be on the right side of the momentum that women are experiencing in this era, and use the reach Reitmans has to help make women's voices heard," Reitmans said in a press release. "Concretely, as the name Reitmans, which the brand has held since its founding in 1926, contains the word 'man', a clear opportunity was identified to replace it with the word 'woman', giving the temporary name Reitwoman."
Reitmans is named after its founders, Herman and Sarah Reitman.
In an email to CTV News Ottawa, Reitmans President Jackie Tardif said the company saw a chance to highlight women through the company name.
"The logo was changed in two key locations—Bayshore Shopping Center and Carrefour Laval—on March 5, and will stay until March 8," Tardif said. "It was also changed on our social media, website and in our email newsletters for the same time frame."
Tardif said Reitmans has raised more than $100,000 for the Canadian Women's Foundation and Plan International Canada to support women and girls, but did not say whether any other plans were in place specifically for International Women's Day beyond the logo change.
Reitmans' staff is 99% women across Canada, Tardif said, in both its retail stores and head office. She did not give a specific answer as to compensation for their frontline staff, but said the company offers "a competitive compensation package to our employees, including base salary, bonus opportunity, generous discount on company merchandise as well as other benefits."
Reitmans isn't the first company to try something like this. McDonald's famously flipped its arches upside down at some locations in the U.S. to make a W (for "women") in 2018. The company was met with backlash online.
When asked whether calling itself "Reitwoman" would be considered pandering, Tardif said she was not concerned.
"We know our customers and we always encourage them to express themselves," she wrote. "We welcome their opinions. We expected this bold logo change would start a conversation. When you do something new, you have to expect different opinions. We see it as an opportunity to bring more awareness about the importance of empowering women. "
The sign at the Bayshore Reitmans will say "Reitwoman" until Monday.