Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

People walk in front of a Canadian Tire store in Toronto on Oct. 29, 2018.

Mark Blinch/Globe and Mail

Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. will roll out lockers for online order pick-ups at hundreds of its stores in the coming year, as the company works to convince online shoppers to visit its stores.

The retailer tested the pick-up points in 2019 to positive response from customers. Its e-commerce business is growing – on Cyber Monday in December, the company had its biggest single day of online sales in its history. In November, Canadian Tire announced that it had generated more than $500-million in e-commerce revenue for the previous 12 months. In the last three months of 2019, business from ship-to-home orders was roughly double the same period the year before. But e-commerce is also an expensive business to run thanks to rising shipping costs across the industry and the logistics of managing inventory to get orders to customers efficiently.

“We collectively believe ... that in-store pick-up continues to be the best way for customers to have orders filled. It’s always the fastest and the cheapest option,” Greg Hicks, president of Canadian Tire Retail, said on a conference call to discuss the company’s fourth-quarter results on Thursday. “... We’re really working with the dealers now on rolling out more automated pickup solutions, to improve the customer experience and the dwell time for the customer.”

Story continues below advertisement

The 97-year-old retailer, which also owns store banners including Sport Chek and Mark’s, has been facing growing competition from e-commerce players such as Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. In addition to cost-cutting, the company is working on improving operations to manage the costs of online order fulfillment and shipping. That includes managing inventory to avoid “split shipments” where different items have to be shipped from different locations at higher cost. It is also competing against rivals that in some cases entice online shoppers with free shipping.

“From a free-delivery standpoint ... to the degree that freight is a more attractive acquisition tool than discounting product, I’d imagine that’s something that we’re going to look at with the dealers. But at this point in time, we don’t really see a need,” Mr. Hicks said.

The Toronto-based retailer had an encouraging end to the year during the crucial holiday shopping period.

On Thursday, Canadian Tire reported revenue of $4.3-billion for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 28, 2019, up from $4.1-billion in the 2018 period. The company attributed the disappointing 2018 results to unseasonably warm weather that hurt its sales of items such as snow blowers and shovels. Overall sales at existing stores were flat that year.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, comparable sales at Canadian Tire stores open more than a year – an important retail metric – rose 4.8 per cent, excluding petroleum sales. That represented a “meaningful” growth in market share for the flagship stores, executives said on the conference call. At Sport Chek, comparable sales grew 2 per cent in the quarter, and at Mark’s, comparable sales growth was 1.8 per cent.

“Our traffic was up substantially. Our sales from our high-value customers and our loyal customers are up substantially. Our web traffic is up substantially. All other things being equal, up against the competition, we had to steal market share,” chief executive officer Stephen Wetmore said on the call.

Canadian Tire reported fourth-quarter net income of $365.9-million or $5.42 per share, up from $278.2-million or $4 per share in 2018.

Story continues below advertisement

In November, the company announced it would begin cutting costs across its portfolio of stores, in a push to save $200-million annually by 2022. That effort is gaining momentum, Mr. Wetmore said on Thursday.

The company is working on cost-cutting at call centres and distribution centres, partly through increased automation. Late last year, the company decided to shutter its underperforming Paderno stores. The project also includes work to improve the efficiency of the company’s operations, for example by consolidating its transportation management, digital marketing and website platforms for all store banners.

Strength in Canadian Tire’s credit-card business also contributed to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings. Revenue in the financial-services segment grew 3.2 per cent to $333-million in the quarter. In the CT REIT segment, property revenue grew 3.7 per cent to $123.7-million.

For the full year, Canadian Tire reported its overall revenue rose 3.4 per cent to $14.5-billion. Comparable sales for all of 2019 rose 3.8 per cent at Canadian Tire, 3.3 per cent at Sport Check and 2.5 per cent at Mark’s. Net income was $894.8-million or $12.60 per share, compared to $783-million or $10.67 per share the year before.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated that Canadian Tire opened nearly 60 new stores last year. In fact, it added new Party City stores through its acquisition of the chain, which the company counts under its Canadian Tire banner in financial reporting.
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies