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Canadian Tire launches 'the Smart store'


TORONTO Canadian Tire has launched a new store format, dubbed 'The Smart store.' The retailer opened two locations in the new format in Welland and Orleans, Ontario. The stores are designed to improve operating productivity, while at the same time creating a comfortable and inspiring shopping experience for customers. The company has plans to open up to 10 new Smart stores and complete a number of retrofits to existing stores in 2009.

"As part of our strategic plan, we continue to be focused on building a bigger and better Canadian Tire through growth and improvements in productivity," said Mike Arnett, president, Canadian Tire Retail. "While the Concept 20/20 format focused on expansion, this new wave of renewal focuses on increasing productivity and improving the customer shopping experience. The Smart store features significant design and merchandising changes to create an even more unique and compelling shopping environment for our customers."

Easy-to-read navigational signage, the reintroduction of the "race track" and the use of high walls and ceilings are a few of the design changes aimed at helping customers comfortably navigate throughout the store. The new concept features boutiques within the stores, new presentations and a combination of improved category adjacencies and additional space devoted to automotive, sporting goods and tools, that offer customers information and an assortment of innovative products.

"The Smart store is the result of more than a year of design and merchandising planning. We believe we have created a store that reinforces the role that Canadian Tire plays in the lives of our customers," said Arnett. "In addition to design changes to help customers navigate the store, we made significant enhancements to our assortment so that we could allocate more space to higher-performing products and new product lines."

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