Douglas Young, vice president, Merchandising—Living Division, Canadian Tire Retail
Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC), founded in 1922, has grown to more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets with tens of thousands of employees across Canada. CTC aims to grow its business to provide Canadians with everything they need for life. Recent acquisitions include the 2018 purchase of the Helly Hansen athletic brand and in 2019 of Party City, the #1 party supply and celebration destination in the country.
Corporate strengths include
- Iconic and trusted brands that Canadians love
- Credibility in heritage categories
- Strong balance sheet and credit rating
- Shared real estate, marketing supply chain & support services
CTC aims to grow in-store digital offerings and ecommerce, strengthen its digital marketing position and use of sponsorships, increase focus on private brands and inspire a culture of productivity.
CTC retail outlets, under a family of store banners, are located in all the provinces, coast to coast, with the greatest concentration in Ontario (720) and Quebec (358).
Canadian Tire Retail (CTR), with more than 500 stores, sells the greatest assortment of general merchandise in more places than any other Canadian retailer. Its well-positioned store network, digital innovation, convenient home delivery or in-store pick up options, unique customer-facing experiences and exclusive perks for its Triangle Rewards loyalty members, inspire and enable their customers to shop when and how they want for the brands and products they seek.
SportCheck, with 400 locations, is the leading health, fitness and wellness retailer.
Mark’s is one of Canada’s leading industrial and casual apparel and footwear retailers. Mark’s core differentiator is its specialized assortment, with 70% of sales contributed by its Owned Brands, designed and sourced in-house products.
Party City is the premier retailer of costumes, accessories and decorations for every celebration—a one-stop destination for seasonal décor and supplies for bridal and baby showers, and every occasion for a gathering. Its 65 stores are located in seven provinces. The target customer is the young, active family, a demographic that also is a key customer for CTC’s other stores.
Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS) is primarily engaged in marketing the Triangle™ credit card portfolio to Canadians. The credit card is accepted worldwide, is held by 2.5 million Canadians and allows users to collect Triangle Rewards™ benefits for purchases at any store in CTC’s network and at other retailers.
CT REIT owns more than 350 commercial properties across Canada, totally 28 million sq. ft. of leasable space, primarily assets leased to CTC.
The Triangle Rewards™ program, introduced in 2018, enables critical connections with consumers. Young outlined how the program:
- powers cross-banner promotion and links the CTC stores in the eyes of 12 million active loyalty members;
- allows 1:1 marketing communications and promotions;
- enables strong digital engagement and multi-channel experiences; and
- provides business insights that help CTC understand the customer path to purchase, evolve assortments and improve customer experience.
Young also described the company’s commitment to its Jumpstart Charities.
Canadian Tire Retail (CTR) Summary
Canadian Tire Retail is Canada’s largest retail store (excluding grocery), with more than 500 stores nationwide and annual retail sales of more than CA$98 billion. Its approach to acquiring and developing brands in-house and adding products drives sales and fuels its growth strategy.
Its five core categories are Living, Fixing, Playing, Automotive and Seasonal.
Key market segments are Active Families, Empty Nesters and Millennials/Digital Natives.
Young outlined attributes of CTR operations and strategies as pertaining to his categories of responsibility in the Living division. He illustrated the points with photos of typical in-store displays and aisles. These product categories respond to consumer lifestyle trends in each of the primary target demographics. CTR can quickly address the needs of active families, especially during the pandemic confinement driving work and schooling from home, offer appropriate items for downsizing boomers, and can engage with the digitally active youngest market segment. The Triangle Rewards program provides a wealth of purchasing data that allows CTR to personalize offerings and forecast demand; for example, 340,000 Triangle loyalty members use the mobile app. CTR’s dealer model allows stores to curate assortments and experiences for each market.
Checklist for Supplier Relations
Young discussed aspects of the following CTR practices in working with vendors.
- Exclusive/Insulated Innovation/ NEW products. Have the tools to launch.
- Market leading offers –no open to buy
- Joint Business Planning POS/ Margin Target Alignment
- Actionable Insights / Turn-key Solutions
- Review past performance, what’s working, what’s not
- Continually review forward-looking forecast vs. plan
- Market opportunities: what is working in the broader market and internationally
- On-time execution
- Online support
- Operational metrics in check
- MOQs and lead times
- Service level to stores
- SKU productivity/ Flyer productivity
- Store support to suppliers
- Quality: product, packaging – how can cost be removed to improve the mutual reputation (Canadian Tire and supplier), packaging sustainability
- Opportunity buys –open for vendor close-outs
Questions from the audience included how Covid-19 impacted stores in various regions, the sudden shift from brick + mortar to online orders and curbside pickups, product categories that sold well, the incorporation of Party City, vendor events and product testing.
For more information on the Global Forum presenters, contact Lori Szudarek, IHA senior manager, member and international buyer relations, at +1.847.692.016 or email Lszudarek@housewares.org.