Canadian Tire Tries Again

Canadian Tire is apparently ready to build a store in Innisfil at the Trinity Square site it previously abandoned a few years earlier. The Town is eager to accommodate them. Millions of shopping dollars flow out of Innisfil every year. But a lot of us hate trekking out to Barrie, Bradford or Newmarket, so a more local option is welcome news. Canadian Tire will undoubtedly do very well.

Personally, I find myself shopping locally more often just because it’s more convenient – faster, less traffic, congestion and hassle. I hardly ever visit the Canadian Tire in south Barrie anymore but the Alcona Home Hardware is a short “what’s new” walk away.

While I’m glad that Canadian Tire has finally recognized that ‘market conditions’ are right in Innisfil, it still irks me that wringing concessions out of small town Ontario is part of their ‘business model’. The Town has agreed to spread payment of $1 million in development charges over 10 years, with interest. Not a big deal, I suppose, but this is a company with about 2. 5 billion dollars in revenue – per quarter, generating more than 12 million dollars a week in net income from merchandise, gasoline sales, clothing, sports equipment, and financial services. Half of that revenue comes from retail. The company’s ‘fact sheet’ brags that total return to shareholders is 10% to 12%. Yet some reports said the company felt “under siege” from intense retail competition. Evidently we can credit the change of heart partly to the collapse of Target stores. (Imagine how they felt!)

The company also claims that 90% of Canadians live within 15 minutes of a Canadian Tire store. How did we get missed? Where did we go wrong? Now, does that Canadian Tire plan include a Mark’s outlet too?