Canadian Tire Lays Rubber with Rations

Is Canadian Tire the latest retailer succumbing to the charms of the It Bag?

Canadian Tire has been testing grocery selections in its Smart Store for a couple of years – however, the planned opening of an “A” store this fall in Cambridge may point to a ramp-up. The new location, which will occupy a former Sam’s Club shell, will showcase grocery selections in an expanded 12-island department.  It will also buck the small format trend on a roll in the U.S., as a Canadian Tire “A” store typically features about 70,000 square feet, and this one will stretch out to over 74,000 square feet.

The company’s fourth quarter earnings report touted the same benefits that have led U.S. non-grocers, such as Target, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, to make forays into the food market, saying that consumables are “key to driving traffic to stores and increasing trip frequency.” I see them girding for further encroachment from U.S. retailers who persist in perfecting their perishable propositions.

Groceries continue to be where the rubber meets the road at retail!