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Canadian Tire Corporation

Economic Impact Report


2022 is the hundredth anniversary of one of Canada's most beloved stores; Canadian Tire. In this report, we look at the different ways Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC)1 and the Canadian Tire Associate Dealers (Dealers)2 support the communities in our country: providing good jobs, catalyzing an extensive supply chain of domestic businesses and supporting life in Canada.

About This Report

Public First is a global strategic consultancy that works to help organizations better understand public opinion, analyze economic trends, and craft new policy proposals.

CTC commissioned Public First to explore and quantify their impact on Canadian consumers, businesses, workers, and communities.

In order to do that, we drew on a variety of sources:

  • Working with independent provider Dynata, we conducted extensive polling of a representative sample of around 2,000 individuals representing every province and territory in Canada.
  • CTC and the Dealers shared data on their headcount and procurement footprint across Canada. In addition, we drew on CTC’s publicly available financial statements and related disclosures.
  • Based on this data, we produced new modelling estimates of the total economic impact created by CTC and the Dealers.

To learn more about our modelling approach and related terminology, please see the Methodology section in the report’s Appendix. Except where indicated, all figures are based on estimates prepared in accordance with Public First's methodology.

Public First is a member of the Market Research Society.

Our methodology and figures were independently reviewed by Philip Cross, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute.

While CTC commissioned this report from Public First, unless otherwise noted, all economic estimates are derived from official or third-party data and Public First’s proprietary information. Unless otherwise specified herein, all dollar amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars.

A note on other terms:3

“CTC”, or the “Company” refers to Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

“Canadian Tire” refers to the general merchandise retail store

“SportChek” refers to the SportChek stores

“Jumpstart” refers to the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

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Foreword - Philip Cross, Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

Canadian Tire’s centenary justifies a national celebration of its remarkable history. This Canadian icon has flourished in the competitive world of modern retailing while weaving its way deeply into the fabric of our society. It is an increasingly rare example of a proudly Canadian business success story. It achieved this by providing customers the value they seek while sharing the values of their local communities.

Canadian Tire’s century-long success is extraordinary in a market where major chains failed or quickly left the country. Rapid firm turnover is a defining feature of today’s business landscape. In Canada, the list of failed companies includes household names such as Eaton’s, Sears, Simpson’s, Nortel, and Target. This turnover partly reflects the difficulty for a large company to constantly innovate, remain close to customer needs, and deliver results for shareholders. Remarkably, CTC continues to expand, with sales growing 60% in the last decade.

How did Canadian Tire thrive for over a century? Obviously good management of everything from logistics to finance to its iconic brand is essential. But at some point retailing comes down to the connection with individual customers, underscoring the importance that almost 70% of the 34,000 employees at Canadian Tire say they are happy with their job. In successful organizations, everyone has to buy into the message about the organization’s mission.

This report details the importance of CTC to Canada’s economy. Altogether it generated an estimated $18 billion of gross value-added in GDP in 2021. The Company’s operations directly or indirectly create an estimated 160,000 jobs. The importance of CTC is magnified for the estimated 380,000 people who first worked there, since a person’s first job helps establish their credentials and their confidence of succeeding in the workplace. Canadian Tire’s purchases support 4,000 businesses in Canada. It also generates extensive foot traffic for other businesses: an estimated 58% of its customers also visit neighbouring businesses, a reflection of Canadian Tire’s position as an “anchor” store in many shopping centres.

However, the importance of CTC extends far beyond numbers and the economy. A recurring theme in this report is its role in supporting a healthy lifestyle. This has been a constant since the early days when its product line expanded from just auto parts to the sporting and camping equipment a growing number of middle-class Canadians wanted for new recreational activities. The many anecdotes of a treasured first pair of skates or hockey stick from Canadian Tire reflect its world-leading status in supplying equipment for our national sport. Today over six million Canadians buy sporting equipment at Canadian Tire. CTC’s commitment to sports is reflected in its $100 million investment in amateur sports over the past decade and its $19.9 million donation to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities in 2020 which helps thousands of kids overcome barriers to playing sports.

Its pervasive presence in Canadian life explains why 76% agree that Canadian Tire “understands life in Canada.” Over 90% of Canadians live within 15 minutes of a Canadian Tire outlet. Every day, it's estimated that hundreds of thousands visit a Canadian Tire store for help with do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks at home, to buy a present, service their vehicle, or prepare for a camping or hunting trip. Canadian Tire is so closely intertwined with daily life that nearly half of Canadians say they would miss shopping at Canadian Tire more than any other store surveyed if they left the country; of course, they may be the same 47% of Canadians with some Canadian Tire Money at home.

Delivering value lies behind CTC’s success as it expanded from coast to coast to coast. This report reveals Canadians derive an estimated additional $14.6 billion in “psychic value” on top of what they spent at Canadian Tire. While ensuring value for money remains the top priority for Canadian Tire customers, most say retailers also need to share their same values. This is one reason for the growing popularity of corporate ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) principles. CTC has long practiced many of these through its deep integration into the lives of individual Canadians and their local communities. CTC is constantly raising its ESG standards, most recently reducing its carbon footprint with initiatives like retrofitting all stores with LED lighting, using rail transport wherever possible, and reducing its use of plastics.

The long-term success of CTC reflects much more than just waving the Canadian flag. Many iconic Canadian brands have fallen by the wayside over the years. A business can only survive and thrive if it consistently delivers products and services to its customers better than its competitors and remains attuned, attentive, and responsive to their needs. This report shows Canadians feel well-served by the value of what they buy at Canadian Tire and the values it shares with them as it begins its next 100 years.

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In total, we estimate that CTC and the Dealers supported $16 billion in GVA in 2019, $16 billion in 2020 and $18 billion in 2021. CTC's 2021 GVA figure is equivalent to approximately 1% of the total Canadian economy or supporting 160,000 jobs.

If you added up the economic impact of CTC and the Dealers from the last decade, we estimate it would be approximately $150 billion.4 Over the last decade, the estimated annual economic impact of CTC and the Dealers has increased by over 60%.

In 1922, in Toronto, two young brothers J.W. and A.J. Billes opened their own business for the first time. For nine years prior, they had been working to support their widowed mother and four sisters, but after purchasing Hamilton Tire & Rubber, they had a company of their own, which they named Hamilton Tire and Garage.

To start, the business focused on car parking, as well as offering a heated and secure garage. In the next year, they pivoted to automotive retail; offering spare parts. They soon became known for the quality and good value of their tires. Over the next 20 years, car ownership changed from a luxury for the rich to part of middle-class life. As car ownership expanded, so did their company, which they renamed Canadian Tire Corporation.

In 1936, J.W. decided that it was not enough to sell spare parts. If a customer bought a car to expand their horizons and escape the city, then CTC should also be the place they went to get the supplies to explore and enjoy life in Canada. So, the brothers began offering tents, camping stoves, golf clubs and fishing rods.

By the 1950s, CTC was one of the largest retailers in the country. It introduced a new coupon series called Canadian Tire Money – ultimately printed on the same paper as real bank notes – that soon became iconic. Even today, around half of Canadian households still say that they have some Canadian Tire Money in their home. By the 1970s, the company was the largest retail advertiser in Canada, and by the 1980s its stores had stretched right across the country.

Today, one hundred years after its founding, CTC remains one of Canada’s most beloved companies, with 13 different banners and over 1,700 retail locations nationwide. For most Canadians, Canadian Tire remains the place they turn to when they want to prepare for a trip outdoors, do DIY projects around the home, or pick out new sports equipment.

What is your favourite memory of being at or buying from a Canadian Tire store?

“When I first met my husband over 40 years ago, I had no interest in camping. He loved it and suggested we buy inexpensive camping gear and try it out. If I still didn't enjoy it, we wouldn't be out a lot of money. We bought an orange 3 man pup tent and used it for about 6 years. We camped - just the two of us - every weekend and summer holiday, and continued when our daughter was born, taking her at 2 months of age. She LOVED the bright orange tent. We upgraded our tent but none after that were as reliable as that orange 3 man tent. Needless to say, we camped for years, but the inexpensive gear we first bought had a special place in our hearts. It lasted very well - we still have some of it to this day.”Female customer, 67
“My father buying my first bike with Canadian Tire money”Female customer, 60
“Me and my best friend go there every December just to walk around and look at sales and such. It's always a nice time.”Female customer, 33
“My favourite memory has always been and still is, sharpening my skates at my local Canadian Tire.”Female customer, 31
“Getting my first skates as a child.”Male customer, 34

CTC’s Group of Companies & Banners

Canadian Tire is one of the most recognizable and trusted brands across Canada, serving millions of customers both in-store and online.
SportChek joined CTC in 2011 and is Canada’s largest sports retailer supporting Canadians as they lead healthy, active lives. With a vast assortment of apparel and equipment, as well as the best athletic brands in the world, it helps athletes and enthusiasts succeed at all levels.
Mark's, also known as L’Équipeur in Quebec, is Canada’s casual clothing and workwear retailer. Since it joined CTC in 2001, Mark’s has been there to make it easy to buy everything Canadians need from hard-hats to hoodies.
Party City is Canada’s one-stop shopping destination for all of life’s celebrations and became part of CTC in 2019 by integrating into the aisles of Canadian Tire stores and incorporating over 60 locations. From birthdays and anniversaries to baby showers and retirement parties, Party City provides everything needed to make the event special.
Helly Hansen was founded in 1877 and joined CTC in 2018. Known for its professional-grade gear in sailing, skiing, mountaineering and workwear, Helly Hansen fits right into CTC by providing the best for outdoor enthusiasts around the world.
Atmosphere was acquired along with SportChek in 2011 and further supports the aim to turn every outdoor excursion into an escape from the ordinary. Providing gear for camping and hiking across their retail locations, Atmosphere helps outfit Canadians for wherever their adventure takes them.
Pro Hockey Life specializes in providing Canadians of all skill levels whatever they need to excel in the sport - from beginners buying their first skates to seasoned professionals looking for the latest and greatest innovations.
Sports Experts has remained faithful to their mantra that started it all: ‘Stay fit. Live well’. For over 50 years they have offered a vast range of clothing, shoes, and sports equipment. This banner only operates in Quebec and is run by franchisees.
Canadian Tire Financial Services offers a variety of products and services to find financial solutions to customers’ everyday financial needs, from Triangle Mastercard and its 2.1 million active customers to equal payment plan options.
Canadian Tire Gas+ is one of Canada’s largest independent gasoline retailers, pumping more than 1 billion litres of gasoline each year.
PartSource is a chain of automotive parts specialty stores that offer brand-name parts to the medium to heavy "do-it-yourselfers", automotive enthusiasts and commercial installers. Launched in 1996, all stores are staffed by experienced auto parts professionals and automotive enthusiasts who share their customers' passion for cars and trucks.

In this report, we look at the different ways CTC and the Dealers continue to support communities in Canada today: providing good jobs, catalyzing an extensive supply chain of small businesses and supporting families in their day-to-day life across Canada.

In total, we estimate that CTC and the Dealers supported $16 billion in GVA5 in 2019, $16 billion in 2020 and $18 billion in 2021. CTC's 2021 GVA figure is equivalent to approximately 1% of the total Canadian economy or supporting 160,000 jobs.

If you added up the economic impact from the last decade of CTC and the Dealers, we estimate that it would be approximately $150 billion. Over the last decade, the estimated annual economic impact of CTC and the Dealers has increased by over 60%.

We look in more detail at how CTC and the Dealers are supporting Canadian consumers, workers, businesses and communities.

  • Consumers. From preparing for a camping trip to helping a parent plan the perfect birthday, CTC and the Dealers help Canadians pursue their passions, jobs and hobbies.
  • Businesses. Through its supply chain and procurement activities, CTC provides economic opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses across Canada.
  • Workers. CTC has given many Canadians their first job, and today continues to provide engaging work to tens of thousands across the country.
  • Communities. Through their partnerships and charitable donations, CTC and the Dealers positively contribute to their local communities across Canada every day.
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Chapter Highlights

From preparing for a camping trip to planning a family celebration, CTC helps Canadians pursue their passions, jobs and hobbies.

Every day, an estimated 160,000 Canadians visit a Canadian Tire store to help them with a DIY task around their home, and over 200,000 Canadians visit a Canadian Tire store to buy a present. According to CTC, more than 90% of Canadians live within 15 minutes of a Canadian Tire store.

From our polling data, 54% of Canadians surveyed agree there is no store quite like Canadian Tire. Among the stores in the survey, when asked which one the respondents would miss if they moved away from Canada, almost half (47%) of them chose Canadian Tire stores.

The majority of Canadians surveyed said they would rather keep their nearest Canadian Tire store than receive $470 in compensation and see it shut. 68% say that they are proud of Canadian Tire as a Canadian company.

Supporting ordinary life

From preparing for a camping trip to getting new sporting equipment, a trip to a Canadian Tire store is a common experience for many Canadians growing up. In this chapter, we focus on CTC’s original banner. According to CTC, more than 90% of Canadians live within 15 minutes of a Canadian Tire store.6

On an average day, from our polling data, we estimate that:

When we asked about the overall experience of shopping at a Canadian Tire store:

From our polling data, 54% of Canadians surveyed agree that there is no store quite like Canadian Tire. Among the stores in the survey, when asked which one the respondents would miss if they moved away from Canada, almost half (47%) of them chose Canadian Tire stores.

Canadian Tire stores have been part of the fabric of Canadians’ daily lives for decades. 57% of respondents say that they first visited Canadian Tire when they were a child, and another 17% when they were a teenager. Around half of the Canadians (47%) surveyed say that they still have physical Canadian Tire Money at home.

What is your favourite memory of being at or buying from a Canadian Tire?

“As a kid I always looked forward to getting my hands on the Canadian Tire money which I would always collect.”Female customer, 21
“Probably buying our first barbecue after we purchased our first house! It was nice to go in and pick one out knowing that we were celebrating a big milestone in our lives.”Female customer, 37
“Canadian Tire flyers were my Dad's Christmas wish lists. We would get a list of items and what pages of the flyer the items were on. He passed in 2010, it's one of the things I miss and that will always stick with me. Canadian Tire was his favourite store.”Male customer, 53
“Finding Canadian ornaments to send to my friend in the UK. I sent her a little bit of home.”Female customer, 53
“The first time I went to Canadian Tire, I was amazed by the vast amount of products on the shelves. It seemed like a dream to see all these useful tools in one place.”Male customer, 22
“My favourite memory would be looking at the skates as a child, trying to decide which skates I wanted.”Female customer, 18
“Going to Canadian Tire with my dad as a kid and him buying me a lollipop on the way out.”Male customer, 33
“My mom giving me money to pick out one Christmas ornament there every year as a child.”Female customer, 34

A flagship Canadian brand

Given its centrality to everyday life, it is no surprise that so many have a favourable impression of CTC’s key brands. From our polling data 70% of Canadians say that they have a favourable impression of Canadian Tire, compared to 10% who have an unfavourable impression.

Canadian Tire is seen as a distinctly Canadian brand:

When we asked the respondents in our survey which phrases described Canadian Tire well:

Which of the following words or statements do you think are a good description of Canadian Tire Corporation overall? Please rate on a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 is a very bad description and 7 is a very good description

Creating consumer value

To test how important Canadian Tire stores were for the respondents to our survey, we asked them whether they would be happy for their nearest store to close if they received a range of monetary payments in return. The majority of Canadians surveyed said that they would rather keep their nearest Canadian Tire store than receive $470 in compensation.

Based on the answers to these hypothetical questions, we also produced an estimate of the consumer surplus created by Canadian Tire stores. The consumer surplus is a measure used by economists that looks at the additional value created for ordinary people above what they have paid as its market price. In other words, if you spend $100 for a product, but would have to be prepared to pay up to $250, we say that the product creates $150 in consumer surplus.

We estimate that Canadian Tire stores in total create $14.6 billion in consumer surplus.

In your own words, what is your impression of Canadian Tire overall?

“[Canadian Tire is] a great Canadian Heritage Company that does extensive community and charitable support.”Male customer, 69
“I love Canadian Tire. I could spend hours discovering new products and all at very affordable prices. I am also happy to support a store that is Canadian.”Female customer, 65
“It is truly a Canadian brand and takes care of Canadians by offering Canadian products.”Female customer, 51
“I love the rewards program and have been collecting Triangle rewards and Canadian Tire money for ages. I like the products and the price, and especially the gardening area.”Female customer, 76
“They have everything you need. Sporting equipment, clothing, and things for the home.”Female customer, 46
“Very wide selection. Friendly and helpful staff.” Male customer, 71
“Love the store and that is one of the last truly Canadian stores around. Offers a wide range of items at affordable prices. Staff are always very friendly and able to assist if you need any help.”Male customer, 39
“I think Canadian Tire is a Canadian company to be proud of - it shares Canadian values and sells high quality products with great customer service.”Female customer, 37
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Chapter Highlights

Through its supply chain, CTC provides economic opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses across Canada.

In total, CTC supports over 4,000 Canadian businesses across the country.

For every $1 in profit earned by CTC in 2021, we estimate that another $14 in GVA was created for other businesses and workers across the Canadian economy.

58% of Canadian Tire store customers surveyed said that they regularly shop at another business while visiting a Canadian Tire store. In total, we estimate that the additional store traffic created by a Canadian Tire, SportChek or Mark's store is 190,000 annual customers to other businesses.

Canadian Tire’s Dealer model

Canadian Tire Dealers are an important component of how Canadian Tire runs its business, and are critical to its success. Just twelve years after the business’ founding, the Company partnered with its first Dealer in 1934. Today, more than 500 stores across Canada are run by independent Dealers, with each Dealer responsible for creating a strategy, hiring their own staff, and offering the products that meet the unique needs of their local community. Becoming a Dealer can give an entrepreneur the advantages of running their own business, while providing the background support in operations, real estate, and marketing so that they don’t have to do everything themselves.

Number of Dealer stores

In total, we estimate that the Dealers and franchises create $9.8 billion in GVA. On average, each Dealer creates $13.8 million in economic activity.

Dealer Case Study - Ezhil Natarajan

Ezhil was born in India, where he trained to be a veterinarian before opening up his own clinic. After emigrating to Canada in 1996, Ezhil got his MBA and began working in the retail sector with brands like Home Depot, Sears, Staples and Best Buy.

Ezhil had the desire to run his own business and was attracted to Canadian Tire due to the strength of the brand and the company’s mobility system that provides Dealers with the opportunity to quickly progress to operating larger, more profitable stores. Ezhil was awarded his first store in 2012 and is currently in his fourth store after having left all his previous stores more successful and more profitable than when he first arrived.

“Canadian Tire is very unique. It's not all about profit, there is a very strong family culture which rewards innovation and development. I believe we have a moral obligation to help customers in any way that we can.”

Ezhil's passion for supporting his staff, customers and local community is well-known. In particular, he is proud that his work gives him the opportunity to help newcomers and people in need, such as Afghan and Syrian families recently arriving in Canada.

“That’s more than enough for me to be a Canadian Tire Dealer, no amount of money can give me that satisfaction. Canadian Tire has given me the opportunity to help, other places just wouldn't do that. That’s why I’m emotionally attached to the Triangle. How many companies can give me this opportunity?”

Dealer Case Study - Sylvie Drolet

Sylvie was born in Quebec and had a strong connection to Canadian Tire from a young age, working as a cashier at her father’s store during university where she studied administration, marketing, and HR. Sylvie’s long-term goal was to be “the captain of my own boat, to run my own business.” After looking at a number of different franchise options, she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a Canadian Tire Dealer.

Sylvie was drawn to Canadian Tire as it allowed her to showcase her own personality and link it to the strong Canadian Tire brand. Unlike other franchise models, Canadian Tire offered her freedom and autonomy over how the store was run. It also offered significant growth opportunities. Sylvie’s first store was only 7,000 square feet. Now, 21 years later she runs her fifth store which is around 11 times bigger than the one she started out in.

While Sylvie walks through her store and greets all the staff every morning, she loves the huge amount of variety and flexibility she has working as a Canadian Tire Dealer. Between managing logistics, staff training, new products and customer relations, there are always new things to do.

“In Canadian Tire no day is the same. Because the season changes, we have new products that change all the time. It’s very dynamic.”

Sylvie and her team are also passionate about engaging with their local community, making it a priority to give back to local charities and causes as often as possible. In addition to supporting Jumpstart, Sylvie supports local sports teams, the cystic fibrosis community, food banks, the chamber of commerce, and the local hospital.

“I’m privileged to be able to own a store like Canadian Tire, and it’s the way to give back for sure – it’s a no brainer for me.”

In your own words, what is your impression of Canadian Tire overall?

“Canadian Tire has been a part of the different communities that I have lived in in Canada for as long as I can remember. It has gone from being a store that I went to with my dad as he was buying things for the car or for doing projects around the house, to now being a store I go to with my niece to get stuff for the car or do projects around the house.”Male customer, 46
“It's a Canadian store with a super large assortment of products that fit Canadians' lifestyle. Can't imagine living anywhere without access to Canadian Tire. Love the smell of the store, they all smell the same.”Female customer, 53
“It is a place where you can find anything you are looking for your home. If it's not in store, you can buy it online. It's good quality, but not too expensive. It answers the needs of a lot of Canadians.”Female customer, 21
“Canadian Tire has always been at the forefront of Canadian hockey, something near and dear. I also know I can find most things I'm looking for there and can get the help I need. I love Canadian Tire.”Male customer, 53

What is your favourite memory of being at or buying from a Canadian Tire?

“Working at Canadian Tire was one of my first jobs, we had a great staff and the training was helpful to get started on the workforce. Our staff parties were fun as well!”Female customer, 28
“Going there as a child with my dad for tools and parts for his car - or paint. We would get a hotdog after, right outside the store.”Non-binary customer, 19
“When I bought a set of pots for $200 and received $100 in Canadian Tire money”Female customer, 56
“My parents took me to Canadian Tire as a child to find a bike and it lasted until I was too old to ride it.”Male customer, 24

Supporting businesses across Canada

Through its wider supply chain, CTC provides economic opportunities for thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses across Canada. The Company sources from businesses in every province, helping bring their goods to the shelf and using their products to support the wider CTC business.

In total, CTC supports over 4,000 Canadian businesses across the country. In 2021, approximately 46%, 93%, and 63% of the value of inventory purchases of Canadian Tire, SportChek, and Mark’s, respectively, were sourced from vendors in Canada.

For every $1 in profit earned by CTC in 2021, we estimate that another $14 in GVA is created for other businesses and workers across the Canadian economy. Alongside the direct impact created by the Company’s core activities, the Company also supports the economy through the indirect impact of its supply chain spending and the induced impact of the local spending from the wages of its employees and supply chain.

Another way in which Canadian Tire supports small businesses is by acting as an anchor store, bringing extra store traffic to other local businesses. Approximately 58% of Canadian Tire store customers surveyed say that they regularly shop at another business while visiting a Canadian Tire store.

In total, we estimate that a single Canadian Tire, SportChek, or Mark’s store creates additional store traffic for other businesses, equivalent to an additional 190,000 annual customers to those other businesses.

Even before founding the Unscented Company, Anie Rouleau was surrounded by the world of business. With two entrepreneurial parents, she learned about cash flow and expenses at the age of eight. “I saw that they owned a business which could support a family but I also saw them getting involved in the community. Everything from organizing the Christmas parade to helping the Cambodians in 1975. That’s what drew me to business.”

The Unscented Company was launched in 2016 on two founding principles, to redefine the notion of clean by offering exclusively unscented all-natural products and to reduce the amount of plastic waste commonly found in domestic cleaning products such as soaps and detergents. The Unscented Company’s packaging is designed to allow customers to refill their bottles either at home or in-store. “My mission for this company isn’t to become the leader of dish soap on the planet, my mission is to be part of the movement to reduce single use packaging by changing consumer habits.”

The Unscented Company’s relationship with Canadian Tire began in a unique way: with the TV show Dragon’s Den in 2019. Out of the 5,000 initial companies that applied, Anie made it to the final two who were sponsored by Canadian Tire. Rather than just a monetary injection, Canadian Tire wanted to follow these two entrepreneurs' journeys and promote their companies across Canada. “Greg Hicks [CTC's then President, Canadian Tire Retail and current CEO] showed up on my doorstep and told me they really believed in my business and would distribute my products nationwide. He said I had an eco-friendly, women-owned business with locally-made products so of course they wanted to support me.”

The partnership with Canadian Tire allowed The Unscented Company to distribute its products all across Canada as well as provide the launchpad for discussions with other major retailers across the continent. “The partnership with Canadian Tire tipped my business over the edge overnight.”

Rainfresh was founded in 1958 by Ian MacDonald. He recognized the need for drinking water products in the growing Canadian cottage market. Ian’s son, Scott, has been president since 1992.

Rainfresh was the first drinking water product to be sold at retail in North America. The company’s relationship with Canadian Tire was established straight away with their products appearing in the 1958 Canadian Tire catalogue. Up until this point, Scott’s father had been selling products to small marinas and specialty stores, but the deal with Canadian Tire allowed the company to expand nationwide. The success of the company continued after the Canadian Tire partnership when their first overseas customer found the company’s products in a Canadian Tire store. In Canada and over 40 countries around the world today, Rainfresh is a leader in residential and commercial water treatment and disinfection.

The deal with Canadian Tire also brought with it an increase in professionalism for the young company. “A lot of small companies are not challenged like that early on, when you work with such a big company you get drawn into that,” Scott explained. This professionalism allowed Rainfresh to gain confidence, “if we can sell into Canadian Tire, we can sell to anyone in the world.”

Additionally, Canadian brand support has been instrumental to Rainfresh’s success. Almost all its products are manufactured or assembled in Canada before distribution and Canadian Tire’s commitment to Canadian businesses has given them an edge over foreign competitors. “Canadian Tire also provides us with a lot of data. They’ve become really good at sharing data over the last ten years. That allows them to offer advice on how to grow sales in our portion of their business. That has been really useful support.”

Looking forward the relationship will only continue to grow, Scott hopes. “We often have brainstorming sessions on the future of this category and coming up with new ideas together”.

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Chapter Highlights

CTC has given many Canadians their first job, and today continues to provide engaging work to thousands across the country.

In total, we estimate that 1.8 million Canadians have worked at a Canadian Tire, SportChek or Mark’s store in the past. Together, we estimate that these three banners are responsible for creating over 380,000 first jobs.

In total, CTC employed around 34,000 people in 2021 and, according to a recent employee survey conducted, 70% of the respondents said they are happy working there.

Providing jobs

Working in retail is one of the most common ways into the labour market. From our polling, around half of the Canadians surveyed (49%) told us they either currently work or had worked in retail in the past - and the retailer they were most likely to have worked at was Canadian Tire among the surveyed stores. Based on our consumer survey, we estimate that at least 1.8 million Canadians have worked at a Canadian Tire store, SportChek or Mark’s in the past – and that the three banners are responsible for creating at least 380,000 first jobs.

When we asked them about their experience at their job at a Canadian Tire store, Mark’s and SportChek:

This matches well with the data from CTC’s own internal surveys of corporate retail employees:7

  • 70% of current employees say that they are happy working at CTC
  • 72% of current employees say that they would recommend CTC as a great place to work
  • 71% of current employees say that they feel well supported by CTC through this pandemic

In total, CTC employed nearly 34,000 people in 2021.8 However, we also estimate that the wider economic footprint of CTC and the Dealers is significantly larger, supporting a further 79,000 jobs through its supply chain networks, and the spending of its employees.9

The importance of CTC as an employer was widely recognized in our survey

Employee Survey Data

“I love my job. I love what I do. I love the people I get to work with every day. My team is amazing. They are a huge part of what keeps me here. We really are a "team" we help each other, support each other and have built a lot of trust over the years. I love the company and it's one I am so proud of. I hope that can continue, and I still get to work with the people I enjoy so much in the new operating model.”
“It is very comforting to know that Canadian Tire understands how life has changed at home during the pandemic and is supportive during all that is happening around us.”
“Our team is a family; we are all so close knit, and it is a joy to call these people my coworkers”
“It is such an amazing company to work for and I'm truly blessed and honored when I tell family and friends that I work for Canadian Tire. They really do care for their employees.”
“It is the first job I have ever had where I feel like a real member of the team”
“It's a good job for young adults. You learn communication, problem solving and people skills.”
“Feels like a home.”
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Chapter Highlights

As one of Canada’s most trusted companies, CTC continues to work towards becoming a leader in responsible retailing. The Company supports Canadians in expanding access to sports and being one of the first places to turn to for new equipment.

Over the last decade, CTC has invested over $100 million in promoting amateur sports in Canada. An estimated 6 million Canadians regularly use a Canadian Tire store to buy sporting goods.

In total, CTC and the Dealers helped generate $36.7 million in charitable donations for Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities (Jumpstart) in 2021, a charity dedicated to helping kids overcome whatever barriers they might face in accessing sport and recreation. In our polling, the equivalent of over 2.5 million Canadians say that they know someone who has benefitted from Jumpstart. In total, excluding its donations to Jumpstart, over the last three years, CTC and the Dealers have donated over $13 million to charitable causes across Canada.

CTC helps communities grow and thrive

As one of Canada’s most trusted companies, CTC is working to become a leader in responsible retailing.

When we asked Canadians about important priorities for a retailer, just 2% of Canadians surveyed believed that only ensuring good value for money was the most important priority above anything else. By contrast, we saw strong majorities (over 75%) of the respondents saying that it was also important for retailers to stock Canadian-made or designed products, make it easier for its products to be recycled, give back to the local community, build an inclusive workforce, reduce its carbon footprint, and support local charities.

In this chapter, we explore the different ways CTC is supporting communities across Canada:

  • Helping Canadians stay active and take part in sport
  • Donating to good causes and helping communities throughout COVID-19
  • Working to improve the environmental sustainability of its products and supply chain

Expanding access to sport

Founded in 2005, Jumpstart helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities. Its mission is to enrich the lives of kids in need through sport and physical activity. The goal is that this not only helps children become more active, but boosts their self-esteem, social skills, and helps them do better at school. Since its introduction, Jumpstart has raised over $200 million in funds and has helped nearly 3 million kids.

In our consumer survey:

While Jumpstart is entirely independent of CTC, the Company is its largest funder and covers all of its general and administrative expenses to ensure that 100% of other donations go towards direct support of Jumpstart’s programs.

In total, CTC, the Dealers, employees, vendors, and customers helped generate $36.7 million in charitable donations for Jumpstart in 2021.

In 2021, Jumpstart:

  • Helped over 240,000 kids in 2021; 2.7M kids helped since inception
  • Disbursed $32.1M in 2021
  • Since Fall 2020, awarded $24.9M in Jumpstart Sport Relief grants to over 1,300 organizations
  • Published the State of Sport Report to raise awareness of the negative impacts of COVID on children and sports organizations

Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund

In September 2020, Jumpstart launched the Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund in response to the significant impact COVID-19 has had on community sports, recreation, and kids’ well-being.

In polling conducted by Ipsos for Jumpstart in early 2021, 74% of kids reported feeling lonely and isolated. At the same time, sporting organizations reported their average operating budget being reduced by 49%, with half saying that without help they would be forced to close within a year.

Building off a $12 million donation of CTC to the Sport Relief Fund, Jumpstart has been able to help organizations from across Canada in sports from wheelchair basketball to dance.

In total, in 2021, the Jumpstart Sport Relief Fund helped

  • Support over 1,300 organizations
  • 240,000 kids play sport

Supporting Sport

CTC commits to helping Canadians get outdoors, stay active, and practice sports. Through its banners, including Canadian Tire, SportChek, Helly Hansen, and Pro Hockey Life, CTC remains central to Canadian sport.

Take hockey. In recent polling by the Angus Reid Institute, 78% of Canadians said that hockey was an important part of the nation’s culture, with nearly two-thirds (62%) saying they had played, watched or had kids who took part in youth hockey.10 In total, through tourism, professional hockey, and corporate sponsorships, hockey is estimated to create $2.6 billion a year in economic impact.11 Today, CTC is the largest hockey retailer in Canada.

In our polling, we heard many stories of ordinary Canadians buying their first hockey stick or ice skates from a Canadian Tire store, and based on it we estimate:

What is your favourite memory of being at or buying from a Canadian Tire?

“The first hockey sticks bought for my 2 boys!” Male customer, 51
“When I started to play hockey, my dad would bring me there for equipment.”Female customer, 18
“Getting my first pair of hockey skates.” Male customer, 22
“My dad brought me my first hockey kit at Canadian Tire when I was 7.”Male customer, 31
“Going to the store with my big sister to buy hockey sticks.”Male customer, 19
“It was when I bought my boy his first hockey equipment when he was 6 years old in 1990.”Male customer, 64

Over the last decade, CTC has invested over $100 million in promoting amateur sports in Canada.

At the same time, it has partnered with teams and athletes across Canada, including:

  • Being an Olympic and Paralympic Partner since 2013. In total, CTC’s Olympic and Paralympic partnerships are estimated to have helped more than 1,000 Canadian athletes compete in the games.
  • Working with over 60 sports organizations across Canada in sports including hockey, basketball, football and soccer to provide sponsorship, apparel, and equipment.

Operation Puck Drop

Throughout the pandemic, Canadians across the country have missed playing and watching their favourite sport - ice hockey. Canadian Tire partnered with Hockey Canada, The Sports Network (TSN), and Réseau des sports (RDS) for Operation Puck Drop.

This opportunity allows for the hockey spirit to be safely brought back to communities in a contest to deliver backyard skating rinks to homes across the country. Canadian Tire encouraged Canadians to share what hockey means to them and out of over 11,000 entries, more than 200 lucky winners were selected to receive rink packages. Additionally, three gold prize winners received an extra prize: a large professionally installed backyard rink, complete with outdoor lighting, furniture, and equipment.

“This rink is more than we could have imagined,” said gold prize winner April Hadley of Thunder Bay, Ontario. “Both my girls love to play hockey. Developing friendships in the community, teamwork, and skills will help them grow as players and as people.”

In your own words, what is your impression of Canadian Tire overall?

“It is a great company and has a great range of products that bring in a large number of customers and with its unique representation it always feels natural to walk in a Canadian Tire.”Male customer, 22
“Good store, great company. Enjoy every aspect of it.”Male customer, 26
“Good company, very affordable items, and they have virtually anything a DIY'er could ever need or want.”Male customer, 33
“It's a good store if you want a wide range of products in one trip. Good for tools, auto and household.”Male customer, 54

Supporting communities throughout COVID-19

83% of Canadians in our polling said that it was important for retailers to give back to the local community. This has never been more important than in the last two years, during the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April 2020, CTC launched a $5 million COVID-19 Response Fund to help frontline workers and those affected by the pandemic. This fund assisted over 1,000 organizations and included donations of $1 million each to:

  • Canadian Red Cross to help provide field hospitals, relief supplies, isolation sites, and the provision of personal protective equipment
  • United Way Centraide Canada to social services, food delivery, senior outreach, crisis lines, women’s shelters, and shelters for Canadians experiencing homelessness

At the same time, it contributed:

  • 1,015,400 masks
  • 71,500 face shields
  • 61,920 litres of sanitizer
  • 10,130 sets of scrubs

Beyond this, many Dealers have launched their own initiatives to support their local communities:

  • Kitchener & Waterloo, Ontario. Five Dealers across Kitchener and Waterloo pooled resources to donate $75,000 to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, supporting 225,000 meals for those in need.
  • Flin Flon, Manitoba. The Canadian Tire team donated 440 litres of sanitizer to schools, including First Nations communities in remote locations of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
  • Edmonton, Alberta. When the pandemic forced Girl Guides of Alberta to stop selling fundraising cookies door-to-door, Canadian Tire sold the cookies for them. Canadian Tire customers were offered the opportunity to purchase Girl Guides cookies at the checkout, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Girl Guides of Alberta.
  • Quebec. As a show of solidarity and community support across the province, Dealers from 100 Quebec Canadian Tire locations launched the “100 stores, more than 150 donations” initiative to help improve the quality of life of children and families in their communities. This grassroots initiative has already raised over $325,000.

In total, excluding its donations to Jumpstart, over the last three years, CTC and the Dealers have donated over $13 million to charitable causes across Canada.

Environmental Sustainability

82% of Canadian Tire customers surveyed say that they are worried about the state of the environment, and when we asked more specifically which types of environment-related initiatives they thought it was important Canadian retailers should undertake:

As a company, CTC is working to be more energy-efficient, produce less waste, and give its customers more options on how to reduce their own environmental impact:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CTC has numerous initiatives to reduce its emissions from its buildings, operations, and transportation.
  • Increasing energy efficiency. CTC is working to retrofit all stores with energy-efficient LED lighting. Whenever possible, CTC aims to transport products by rail, the most energy-efficient mode of transportation, and has also pioneered the use of North America’s first 60-foot intermodal container to further increase efficiency.
  • Reducing waste. CTC is a member of the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC) and a founding member of the Canada Plastics Pact (CPP).
  • Offering more environmentally friendly products. CTC is working to reduce unnecessary packaging, use more recycled materials, and offer more electric and energy-efficient products, from lawn mowers to Christmas lights.

For more information, please visit CTC’s 2021 Environmental Sustainability website.

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Appendix A - Estimated Economic Impact by Province 2021 by CTC and the Dealers

 GVA ($m)Total Employment Supported (Direct, Indirect, & Induced)
Atlantic Provinces$1,20569,268
British Columbia & Territories$2,12412,107
Provence de Québec$53627,708
The Prairies$4,45014,111

Appendix B - Methodology

In this study we have sought to provide an estimate of the economic footprint of Canadian Tire Corporation, and its dealers.  

In order to this, we have added together: 

•  The direct economic impact of Canadian Tire Corporation and its Dealers  

•  The indirect economic impact of the wider supply chain and procurement that feed into the company  

•  The induced impact created through economic demand from the additional spending by employees of Canadian Tire Corporation, its dealers and wider supply chain 

Economic impact is measured in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA), which is a measure of the additional economic value created by a private sector organisation, and is closely related to Gross Domestic Product, a measure of the size of the economy as a whole.  

More detail on our approach is given below.  

In introducing the methodology, it is useful to set out a glossary of technical terms. As follows:

  • Gross Value Added (GVA) - the value of an industry’s output minus the value of inputs needed for producing the output.
  • Direct economic impact - the economic activity that an industry undertakes to meet the demand for its products. 
  • Indirect economic impact - the economic activity of the supply chain that is the consequence of an industry meeting demand for its products. 
  • Induced economic impact - employment is needed to deliver the direct and indirect economic impacts, which provides wages that are spent in the economy. 
  • Multipliers - statistics that are used in the estimates of direct, indirect and induced economic impact.
  • Input-Output models - a collection of statistics that show how each sector of an economy is related. 

The economic impact of CTC in Canada - the GVA it creates and the jobs it supports - is calculated by estimating the direct, indirect, and induced effects of its activity:

  • For calculations of direct economic impact - Information from CTC's published accounts was combined with information on employment costs (provided by the Company). The following equation to calculate direct GVA was used:

GVA = Operating Profit + depreciation + amortization + employees' costs.

Operating profit was modelled for CTC’s Dealers and franchises assuming the same relative profit margins as CTC taken from the Company’s published accounts.  

  • For calculations of direct jobs impact - Information on CTC’s full-time, part-time, and temporary workers was collated to present a total number of jobs directly created by the Company. Some data included a direct record of employment numbers, but data for Dealers and franchises were calculated using assumptions of average salaries - taken from Statistics Canada - and the distribution of types of jobs from other parts of the business (full-time, part-time, and temporary)
  • For calculations of indirect and induced GVA and jobs impact - Information on the procurement spend of CTC with suppliers based in Canada was provided by the Company, i.e. excluding imported goods and services. This information could be allocated to specific suppliers and by financial year, province, and sector.  

Technical details and sources

Multipliers published by Statistics Canada were used to calculate the effect of CTC’s procurement spend on GVA and on jobs in Canada. These multipliers were used to assess two types of effects:

  • Indirect - This incorporates the GVA and jobs impact of spending with CTC’s suppliers and the impact that that spending has as it filters down through the supply chains of suppliers.
  • Induced - This incorporates the GVA and jobs impact of increased household spending from the employment resulting from CTC’s procurement.  

The multipliers used to understand these effects are available for each Canadian province and for each economic sector, meaning that CTC’s economic and jobs impact arising from its procurement was calculated by:

  • Categorizing each of the Company's suppliers to an industry within the North American Industry Categorization System (NAICS) 2017, and further categorizing them to the corresponding Input-Output Industry Classification (IOIC) 2016.   
  • Establishing the Company’s suppliers' locations by their postcode.

The Simple and Total Multipliers from 2018 – the latest available – were used to calculate indirect and induced effects of GVA and jobs.

To note, the multipliers provided by Statistics Canada can calculate economic and jobs impacts solely within provinces of procurement spend, or the economic and jobs impacts across Canada of procurement spend within a particular province. The latter was used for the analysis by province included in this analysis.  

Limitations of input-output modelling

A number of assumptions are needed in using input-output models. These assumptions include a largely static economy, with constant returns to scale, fixed proportions between inputs and outputs, and no dynamic reaction to changing prices.

Input-output analysis gives an estimate of gross value – in other words, we do not know how or where people would spend their money if CTC did not exist.

It is important to note that we have included an assessment of induced impact – which is standard practice - but that most experts believe Type 2 multipliers are likely to give an overestimate of total economic impact.

  1. Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (CTC) refers to all entities controlled by it and their collective businesses and banners, which include SportChek, Mark's, Helly Hansen, Canadian Tire Gas+, Party City, and Canadian Tire Bank, among others. For more information, please see CTC's 2021 Annual Information Form
  2. "Dealers" only refers to CT and Party City franchisees.
  3. For a brief description on CTC's banners, refer to CTC's Group of Companies and Banners section.
  4. Including direct, indirect, and induced economic activity.
  5. Including direct, indirect, and induced economic activity.
  6. Data point provided by CTC.
  7. "Corporate retail employees" refers to employees who work at corporate-owned Mark's, SportChek, Partsource and Pro Hockey Life stores.
  8. Based on CTC's 2021 Annual Information Form. These figures do not include employees of CT REIT, Dealers, SportChek franchisees, Mark’s franchisees, Petroleum retailers and Party City stores.
  9. This figure does not include direct employees of Dealers, which we have estimated and included as part of our modelling. See Appendix A for details.