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Canadian Tire

Tuscani01

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I dont know how many of you live downtown and received the pamphlet recently about the store becoming CT Urban. Delivery is now free if you spend $100 or more in store, parking is free for 1/2 an hour if you spend $40 or more, and if the item you are looking for cannot be found when you come in, it will be delivered for free.

The newest idea from the store is to get into the grocery business. Management has shown interest in setting up a grocery department within the store. CT announced new stores this year that would feature grocery sections in order to compete with Walmart and its superstore concept. If CT's grocery department is anything like Walmart's (price wise) this would be one hell of a smart move.

Comments?
 

interchange42

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Are they specifically changing the name to "CT" Urban, or were you just shortforming the name? Shopping for groceries in a store with the word "Tire" in the name is, oddly, not appealing.

42
 

afransen

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I checked out CT's new concept store in Welland, which featured a small grocery, bread and dairy section (all told probably less than 8,000 sqft of the store). I'm not sure how well it will do, when they do not carry a full range of grocery and have no produce/meat. I'm sure it will sell some very small basket sizes (such as milk or bread, which they currently are selling at a loss to generate traffic).

Problem is the same as Shoppers faces for fresh food: it is hard to compete in food as anything but a loss leader when they would have to establish a new supply chain for refrigerated products. Also, Shoppers has an advantage over CT: much smaller, more numerous stores. Shoppers can drive weekly traffic by being close to home. CT's are less likely to do so because it is more of a trek, into a huge store. Not to mention the store smells of car tires and motor oil.
 

dt_toronto_geek

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Thanks for the tip Tuscani. Sometimes I see items in Canadian Tire that I can't possibly carry home or on the subway so the free delivery service could come in handy. I didn't even know that they made home deliveries.
I'm not so sure about the grocery concept.
 

Tuscani01

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Are they specifically changing the name to "CT" Urban, or were you just shortforming the name? Shopping for groceries in a store with the word "Tire" in the name is, oddly, not appealing.

42
The pamphlet that went out simply says CT Urban - Bay Dundas. The name of the store is staying as is. It would have been cool to change the name to CT Urban but I think that would be too much work. The only difference is the store now caters to the urban crowd by offering more services which other CT's do not offer that make shopping easier.

As for the supply chain, CT already has a partnership with Sobeys which runs grocery outlets in Q Gas Bars. I can see a greater partnership between the two in the future if the concept such as the store in Welland takes off. The Welland store is also a small market store. Its not meant to be a full CT. Its designed specifically for the market. As for the smell of car tires, Bay/Dundas doesn't sell them!
 

Tuscani01

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Thanks for the tip Tuscani. Sometimes I see items in Canadian Tire that I can't possibly carry home or on the subway so the free delivery service could come in handy. I didn't even know that they made home deliveries.
I'm not so sure about the grocery concept.
Theres a 'layaway' service too now. You can purchase something and have it put aside until you are able to pick it up.

Im not too sure about the grocery concept either. The store is already very disorganized and I think adding another department will only make the store worse. Bring in new management and it may work though!
 

afransen

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I wasn't aware that Sobeys was supplying CT (although I assume that the dairy and bread is direct to store from vendor). Interesting arrangement--not sure if it makes longterm sense for Sobeys, especially their urban stores. CT Urban would seem to be a direct competitor there. I guess my point would be that the big three grocery chains all seem to be turning up the competition in the face of Walmart's entry. I honestly can't see the competitive advantage to a tiny grocery section in CT when they are selling much of it at a loss. It seems a pricey and complicated way to drive traffic.
 

whatever

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That store would do better if they worked instead on sticking to their roots and trying to be a decent tool/hardware/mechanic/home improvement store. I was so eager for that outlet to open because it was closer for me than having to go up to Yonge/Church, but by this point I've given up on it and can't remember the last time I bothered to go in there. It seems like they're incapable of stocking the simplest, most basic product in that store, focusing their efforts instead on "home design" crap and nonsense like that. This "CT Urban" thing just formalizes the reality of that store having precious little to do with any other Canadian Tire I've shopped at
 

CDL.TO

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I work at Bay & Dundas, so obviously the Canadian Tire is very convenient for me. If I wanted, I could pop in on my way home and pick up household needs.

That said, I never go there. Whenever I do, they're all out of what I need. Garbage bags, cleaning materials, mouse traps, all not in stock when I've gone to get them. It's also hard to find what you're looking for and employees can be few and far between. I've simply stopped trying.

Canadian Tire seems too interested in trying out new schemes and not on focussing on the need for good products and customer service.

If they could match Wal-Mart's prices for groceries, I would go. Otherwise, I'll stick with Loblaws and No Frills.

That said, free delivery is a great idea.
 

foodwatcher

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CT Urban

Is it possible for you to post a copy of the flyer that talks about CT Urban.

I would be interested in seeing what they are saying and I didn't get one in my neighbourhood.

Thanks
 

Observer Walt

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Canadian Tire has a long and successful record in retailing, and I would not be quick to dismiss anything they might try. That said, I can't visualize it as a place to buy groceries. Their image remains pretty much tires, automotive supplies, camping gear, and housewares.

Bay / Dundas may not sell tires but almost all of the other stores do! Women tend to buy more groceries than men, and I don't know how many women want to walk past the tires and the 10W30 oil, on their way to pick up bread and cheese.

As already said, a big new supply chain would have to be established to move food into stores, unless they are completely farming that out to Sobey's. I'm not aware of too many large retail chains that would farm out their logistics operations to another large chain, especially when the other chain would be to some extent a competitor. I just can't see that as a long-term strategy.

As for the "Q" stores, I believe I read somewhere that the concept had been put on hold. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure there were only two stores in place as of a few months ago, one in Mississauga (Dixie and Eglinton), and one in Milton. Not sure how well these stores are doing, but as they don't seem in a hurry to open more, I assume the concept is going through a rethink.
 

ShonTron

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As for the "Q" stores, I believe I read somewhere that the concept had been put on hold. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure there were only two stores in place as of a few months ago, one in Mississauga (Dixie and Eglinton), and one in Milton. Not sure how well these stores are doing, but as they don't seem in a hurry to open more, I assume the concept is going through a rethink.
Yeah, I visited the Milton store once, it wasn't a bad idea, seems to be suited more for quickie purchases on the way home (in Milton's case, it's right off the 401, and its location would be good for the end of the evening shift at Maplehurst). The one I thought they would try was Bramalea/Steeles - right across from a major GO station (perfect for quickie pick-ups of things), and on surplus CTC property with an existing gas bar.

CT always had bad service, and I think part of the problem has been their operating model of associate stores (basically franchises). Very few large-format retailers go this route.
 

CGM

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The grocery idea is good ... not many options for residents in the surrounding buildings
 

adma

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Really? What about the College Park Metro? Or the one under the Merchandise Building...
 

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