Becoming the go-to local guide for life in Canada.

Jackman was hired by Canadian Tire in September 2013 to do reinvention work. The work included helping to hone Canadian Tire’s long-term growth and network strategies and unify and enhance its store and digital channel experiences. In spring 2014, the perfect opportunity arose to leverage the work in progress on the network strategy and test the Canadian Tire “Go-to local guide to life in Canada” customer experience. In partnership with Canadian Tire and its teams, Jackman was engaged to bring the new strategy fully to life through the conceptual design of a 140,000 sq. ft. showcase store in South Edmonton Common.

Research & Insights

In the research phase, we worked with Sklar Wilton and Canadian Tire’s leadership to understand consumers and the competitive forces impacting the business, and to identify customer experience opportunities and challenges. Jackman collaborated with an external research partner to uncover socio-demographic shifts, retail and technology trends and consumer segmentation.

Management Consulting

A collaborative, complete network analysis helped the team more fully understand performance and underlying store drivers. This produced key insights into regions, urbanization profiles, trade area demographics and competitive intensity factors – and a view of future opportunities. The team also developed a market-wide view of the business to help identify where growth would come from.

The team developed a market-wide view of the business to help identify where growth would come from.

Brand Strategy

Informed by a customer segment hierarchy and behavioural and attitudinal insights, the team collaborated with leadership to determine which customers to focus on and why. This led to honing the brand’s purpose to centre on playing a vital role in customers’ lives, as the “go-to local guide” for active families getting the most out of life in Canada. The uniquely Canadian viewpoint and positioning, which both distilled and amplified the business’ past, provided a guiding brand purpose and fertile place to play.

Creative Development & Design

To position Canadian Tire as the true “go-to local guide,” we needed to create a destination to celebrate and own Canada’s seasons, with a meaningful way for consumers to engage with the store’s products and services. We simplified navigation and the store palette to encourage product discovery and provide a well-guided experience. We brought micro-seasons and large seasonal events to the forefront by demonstrating the breadth and depth of Canadian Tire’s assortment, combined with editorial messaging and digital in-store elements.

Store Design

The 140,000-square-foot South Edmonton Common showcase store was an opportunity to think big – and differently – about customer-focused solutions and next-level experiences, and resulted in one of the most talked-about store launches in Canadian retail history. Features include a hero wall with a large installation that pays homage to Canadian Tire’s iconic red triangle, monumental sightlines and visual displays, and efficient digital customer service hubs to act as anchors and customer interaction points. To create a parent-friendly experience, we added a “kid zone” tucked between the escalators, and a LEGO shop on the second floor.

Digital Design

Early in the reinvention process, a key question our team answered was about the place of digital in the new store and concepts. The experiences are not tied to gimmicks or flash, and are not digital for the sake of being digital: they take into account the types of users and types of content those users would be looking for. Accordingly, we devised a hierarchy for the digital components and their placement in-store, starting with the customer’s own digital device.

A key question our team answered was about the place of digital in the new store and concepts.

A notable highlight is the addition of digital hubs in each department, which provide rich experiences that inspire, educate and empower the customer, while allowing for discovery of new products. Ensuring that customers can move seamlessly from the screen to live interactions in-store, the hubs allow for information download and usage off-screen. The digital experience features Canadian Tire’s products as the heroes, providing a simple, guided journey to discover the right product for the right use at the right time.

Private Brand Design

Canadian Tire had several private brands that together could offer a more powerful and complementary product mix. We helped the team to focus its private brand hierarchy, curate its breadth of product and define a distinct tone of voice, purpose and direction. Strengthening the offering, coupled with renaming and redesigning its packaging, resulted in the new Frank and award-winning Canvas and Yardworks brands. We also honed and redesigned the existing Simoniz, Certified, Home Collection and OE Plus brands.

The Results

The Edmonton Showcase store merges bricks and mortar and digital retail to successfully deliver on the brand promise of making the jobs and joys of life in Canada easier, with an above average store performance. “I think we’ve executed a fundamental mindset change in 2015 – a year in which we posted the best comp store sales increases we’ve seen in over a decade,” SVP Merchandising Greg Hicks said in the Canadian Tire 2015 Year in Review. In addition to YOY increases in traffic (+35%) and same-store sales (+68%), the organization saw significant increases in its category sales, including automotive (+52%), fixing (+26.7%), living (+78.3%), playing (+109.1%) and S&G (+97.3%) divisions. Our private label design work has also garnered two Vertex Awards, silver for Canvas (2014) and gold for Yardworks (2015).

The resonance this store is having on our customer base is so substantial that the store is performing fantastically.

Allan MacDonald, President, Canadian Tire | Canadian Tire 2015 Year in Review


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