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Press release from CNW Group

Ready, set ? pitch! Canadian Tire hosts the 2nd annual Unwrap the Ultimate Auto Gifts search

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ready, set ? pitch! Canadian Tire hosts the 2nd annual Unwrap the Ultimate Auto Gifts search09:00 EST Thursday, February 16, 2012Canadian Tire calls on vendors, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers in search of the latest "must have" gifts for Canada's auto enthusiastsTORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian Tire today kicked off its second annual Unwrap the Ultimate Auto Gifts search, a two-day event designed to discover the latest and most innovative must have holiday items for auto enthusiasts in Canada. The program gives existing and new vendors, manufacturers, distributors and entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to pitch their products to a panel of judges comprised of Canadian Tire automotive business managers and executives. Those selected may see their products on Canadian Tire shelves in time for the 2012 holiday season."As a leading retailer of all things automotive in Canada, our customers look to us for the latest and most innovative products as well as excellent value," said Andrew Davies, Vice-President Automotive for Canadian Tire. "We've condensed our typical process, which takes months, into a two-day program which allows us to see the latest and greatest automotive products out there; based on the success of last year's gift search we know Canadians are looking to get their hands on these products."At the 2011 search, Canadian Tire met 60 vendors, manufacturers and entrepreneurs and introduced 155 new products, which generated a 2.7 per cent increase in automotive sales for the year. These products were found on Canadian Tire store shelves nationwide with 100 per cent of stores supporting the program. The items were also featured in the winter edition of the newly launched DriverMagazine, poised to become one of Canada's leading resources for all things automotive. Examples of the auto gifts 'discovered' through last year's Unwrap the Ultimate Auto Gift search include: The Road Mice, Coin Counting Jar and the Canadian made Scrape-A-Round and Busted Knuckle Rubber Tire Mug.This year, Canadian Tire will also engage new vendors, manufacturers and entrepreneurs through Facebook and Twitter with the hopes of bringing to market even more auto enthusiast gift ideas Canadians are looking for this holiday season.Participants in the 2012 program submitted their product information online at www.ultimateautogift.ca between January 18 and February 3, 2012. Canadian Tire has invited all eligible participants to present their product idea in a 15-minute rapid-fire pitch in Toronto, Ontario on February 16 and 17, 2012.  Purchase decisions will be made following the presentations.ABOUT CANADIAN TIRECanadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX:CTC.a) (TSX:CTC) is one of Canada's most-shopped general retailers and the country's largest sporting goods retailer, with more than 1,700 retail and gasoline outlets from coast-to-coast. Our primary retail business categories - Automotive, Living, Fixing, Playing and Apparel - are supported and strengthened by our Financial Services division, which offers such products and services as credit cards, retail deposits, in-store financing, product warranties, and insurance. Nearly 68,000 people are employed across the Canadian Tire enterprise, which was founded in 1922 and remains one of Canada's most recognized and trusted brands.For further information: Jessica Culp, Canadian Tire, 416-480-8261 (office), 647-618-8231 (mobile), Jessica.Culp@cantire.com April Brown, High Road Communications, 416-644-1793 (office), 416-895-3933 (mobile), april.brown@highroad.com