Vice President, Merchandising – Living Division
Canadian Tire Retail
Doug Young, vice president of merchandising for Canadian Tire Retail, is responsible for merchandising and inventory management for the Living Division, which includes everything for inside the home including Kitchen, Home Décor, Organization, Cleaning, Essentials, Electronics and Pet Care.
With more than 25 years of retail and leadership experience including store operations, marketing, brand building and merchandising experience, Young leads the Canadian Tire merchandising team, delivering on results through innovation, great partnerships and operational excellence.
Since joining Canadian Tire in 2006, Young has held various positions including associate vice president of space planning, associate vice president of merchandising, and category business manager/buyer.
Founded in Toronto by two brothers in 1922 as an auto parts and repair shop, Canadian Tire is now an organization that has grown to more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets with tens of thousands of employees across all of Canada. The corporation includes automotive centers, general merchandise stores, specialty clothing and sporting goods stores, financial services and real estate investments. Its core business is retail and its total 2017 revenue was C$13.4B.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities is its primary vehicle for fundraising and charitable giving. A national charity dedicated to helping kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation and to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities, Jumpstart has distributed more than $135 million since inception. In 2017, Jumpstart announced a five-year commitment to fund $50 million in community projects.
What Makes Canadian Tire Retail Unique
Canadian Tire Retail (CTR) strengths include:
- trusted brands Canadians love
- market leader across core categories
- superior real estate locations and national store network
- strong Dealer network focused on meeting local needs.
Its growth relies on:
- revitalizing and localizing assortments
- developing new product pipelines
- enhancing private label and exclusive brands
- building on insights from its loyalty programs and credit cards to drive instore and online traffic
- expanding eCommerce, supply chain and digital capabilities.
Young explained key initiatives and unique CTR advantages: No other store knows Canadian people better. CTR understands seasonalities, climate conditions and local preferences. Their store dealers know their categories and their markets and are not constrained by Open to Buy limitations. They buy their own inventories based on corporate forecasts and pressure-tested products. CTR sees great opportunities in building its owned brands.
Strong Housewares Categories Build Customer Loyalty
Doug Young described their housewares business. Their key customers are active families and millennials. He went into some detail about the performance of housewares categories such as kitchen electrics, hand tools, cookware, floor care and storage/organization. Pet care is selling extremely well; pet food drives store visits. CTR works with Dealers on planograms and promotions to build excitement and traffic.
Young candidly offered his assessments on CTR’s category market shares vs. its competitor retailers in selected categories and discussed successes with specific products. He listed the number of buyers on his team in each category.
He outlined their Triangle program, a redesigned loyalty program that expands customer reach and share of wallet. It enables a Marketplace view of the customer that advances the data, analytics and 1:1 targeted marketing capability. It gathers information from all its banner store groups, from gasoline and grocery purchases as well as general merchandise, to learn about shopping behavior, allowing direct selling offers for products and to drive traffic and engagement. They read reviews and complaints carefully. They offer replacements and certificates to relieve the pain points and keep the customer. CTR stands by its quality and reputation.
Young showed examples of Triangle promotions and targeted marketing, including newspaper inserts, TV advertising, social media and 1:1 offers. These points of contact build a single digital customer profile across all CTC properties, digital and in-store channels. Such ongoing engagement allows CTR to personalize communication for customers seeking anything from paper towels to patio sets. As 90% of Canadians live within 15 minutes of a store, CTR has unmatched delivery advantages.
Young addressed questions about CTR franchisees, such as how they fulfill customer requests and manage warehouse inventory, how CTC leverages its real estate locations and tracks credit card acquisition. Global Forum participants also asked about direct sourcing from Asia vs. manufacturer deliveries. Young commented that relationship development is their focus in working with suppliers. Best results occur when parties are transparent and understand each other’s goals.