The rising success of Canadian Tire and the lessons to be learned

By Cutter Slagle

Canadian Tire recently opened their largest store in the country. Specifically, the new establishment took South Edmonton by storm as the showcase business that is a record 140,000 square feet and stretches across two floors offered the latest merchandising techniques and digital-technology experiences.

This new building is double and even triple the size of some of the company’s other stores, with 100 digital screens, online catalogues and interactive electronics that includes a driving simulator that allows customers the opportunity to virtually test-drive tires in different weather conditions.

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Furthermore, the new Canadian Tire provides a seasonal department where customers can conveniently click and drag virtual products that include barbecues and gazebos onto a virtual deck to get a feel for the outside look before actually making a purchase.

It goes without saying that Canadian Tire is doing well—quite well. But what is the store doing that has helped them find success? And should other retailers take note and follow their model?

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For starters, the store has opted for a more traditional look, meaning they’ve moved away from that tired and cluttered warehouse feel. Specifically, there are wider aisles and more light—the store is brighter for customers. Furthermore, the vehicle repair shop has been improved, too—there are 19 drive-in auto bays that can automatically measure and display a vehicle’s tire and tread depth.

To hone in on the Edmonton market, products have been tailored to the fit community. For example, key assortment extensions in trucks and trailers are available, as well as tools and outdoor living and an extensive hunting and fishing pro shop.

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It’s clear that Canadian Tire had one goal in mind when opening this new store—the customer. Other businesses can (and should) take note of the franchise’s successful techniques. When it comes to choosing products and site designs, the customer should highly be considered. Who will be shopping at the store and what can you offer them?

Sure, price matters, too—customers don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for an item. However, it’s also equally important to have shelves well stocked and a variety of products to choose from. It’s also quite necessary to know your market and target audience—you have to give the community what they want and need in order to be successful.

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