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Canadian Tire grows again with PartSource

The Story

At a time when most retailers are just getting by and American heavyweights Wal-Mart and Home Depot are beginning to dominate, Canadian Tire CEO Stephen Bachand is ushering in an entirely new retail concept. It's called PartSource and it's a veritable haven for the car enthusiast, offering parts, tools, products and accessories. The plan calls for the opening of 200 stores at a cost of $400 million. And PartSource isn't Bachand's only project. Since taking over the company's top job in 1992, he has spent hundreds of millions to build new stores and fix old ones. As we see in this clip from 1999, the changes are starting to pay off, even in tough times.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Aug. 25, 1999
Guest: Stephen Bachand, James Okamura
Host: Alison Smith
Reporter: Raj Ahluwalia
Duration: 2:35

Did You know?

• Two years after the launch of PartSource, Canadian Tire introduced two more major changes to its operations: the launch of its website and the acquisition of Mark's Work Wearhouse.

• The website changed the way customers researched and bought Canadian Tire products, and precipitated the demise of the venerable Canadian Tire catalogue. The first catalogue was issued in 1928 (the first French version came in 1957) and the last run in the fall of 2007 saw the company distribute six million copies. The corporation announced in March 2008 that it was ceasing catalogue operations due to decreased use.  However, in the spring of 2016 they brought it back when they distributed 12 million paper catalogues to Canadian homes.

• In acquiring Mark's Work Wearhouse, the company had taken over what its website calls "one of the country's leading retailers of work, work-related, casual and active-wear categories." Mark's was the brainchild of Mark Blumes, a former retail executive with the Hudson's Bay Company. The first store opened in 1977 in Calgary and by 2009 the chain had grown to over 350 locations across the country. In Quebec, as of 2007 it had some 40 stores under the banner L'Équipeur ( "Oufitter").





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