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Its superstores stalling, Canadian Tire gets 'smart'

From Monday's Globe and Mail

Chief executive officer Stephen Wetmore is taking the retailer back to the future ...Read the full article

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  1. Larry Alexander from Canada writes: My local Canadian Tire did the superstore thing a couple of years back. I will shop anywhere else first, and it's mainly because of the lack of customer service. The staff can be downright ignorant.
    Also, it looks empty. Maybe the inventory levels looked jammed in the old store, but it looks pretty skimpy in this one.
  2. Rollo 8>) from Belgium writes:

    I wish that we had a Canadian Tire store in Belgium, or the equivalent. I was impressed by a store in the GTA last week, shelves groaning with stock, good prices and I was actually able to find a helpful salesperson.
  3. Misery No one from Toronto, Canada writes: It's a part of our culture I don't think we could do with out those stores.
  4. harry schmidt from near Shanghai, Canada writes: Milk and bread in a'crashtire store? they tried selling lumber, insulation etc. back in the eighties........
    Take a page out of HD and Lowes, stupid. Keep automotives seperate. Get more mature or train the teens better. Good luck.
  5. Team Canada Now from Canada writes: I'm not likely to be buying milk and bread at the local Canadian TIre - or tires at the 7 Eleven for that matter. My local store just upgraded and I would say it's not an improvement - selection may be up but quality is down - the place is over run with crap from China. If I wanted that stuff I would go to Wallmart. I think Canadian Tire would do better sticking to their core products and maintaining quality levels. The bottom of the market is crowded (and crappy) why go there?
  6. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: CTC have forgotten they first have to draw the consumer into the parking lot . With nothing but a big store and a sign to offer , many go on to the Auto parts store or the Home hardware store where items are easier to find quickly , and where clerks are readily available to help ....... At our local CTC there is a large section of parking lot at the front that usually has few cars in it - why not put a Farmer's market there to draw traffic in off the street , and add a mini Tim Hortons there as well . Rearranging the store inventory so that related items are close together is a great idea . There doesn't sem to be a defined hardware area - it's all over the store . That's a lesson on how to drive traffic to a hardware store .
  7. hardtobe loyal from Canada writes: I have tried hard to shop Canadian and find the CTC stores often have good quality merchandise. But I ve given up shopping there. I follow flyers and plan my buys but the last 6 times have found the sale items gone in the two days it takes me to get to town. When I can find a salesperson, I get shrugged shoulders and dunnos- go ask somebody else. Its has become a negative experience. I am newly senior and hate the endless hikes around ever rearranged shelves to find items missing. Why does it have to be this way? I spend upwards of $1000/year on household things that could have gone to CTC.
  8. Que Sommes-Nous from Canada writes: I think the CTC stores have a wonderful selection. Sadly, I can't shop there, or only for a couple of minutes at a time, because I find the cheminal smell overwhelming.
  9. David Newcombe from Burlington, Canada writes: What used to be a straight forward trip to the store is now an endless and confusing walk all over the store. Aisles running at right angles, no logical flow, no support on the floor, inadequate signage. Need I go on?

    I don't need more complication in my life, especially on a Saturday afternoon.

    Fix this, you fix your bottom line problem.
  10. Mikey Dee from Canada writes: I think that CTC has to do more with under preforming owner/operators. Here in Sudbury, the south end store that is 5 minutes away,has very poor service and badly trained staff. Going there always leaves me upset. While the next store is about a half hour away in new Sudbury, is such a pleasure to shop at, with helpful and knowlegable staff; it's hard to belive it's the same chain.
    The difference? training is the key
  11. Gardiner Westbound from Canada writes: .
    I avoid Canadian Tire because of the poor customer service. There are rarely more than two check-outs staffed. Few use the self checkouts. If you can find a clerk he doesn't know anything. Returning an item is like dealing with the Gestapo.
  12. The Emperor's Paparazzi from Canada writes:
    'Wide spaces for attractive aisle displays ........
    .... 20-per-cent fewer sales per square foot'

    Hey, wait a minute! I think I'm having a flashback to elementary school arithmetic.
  13. Kenneth Malec from Canada writes: Wide aisles? The store just piles more stuff in the aisles. Its almost impossible to walk down. Used to be my favorite place, not anymore.
  14. tablogloid sadmanwhosane from Toronto, Canada writes: Service has always been poor at Canadian Tire stores. Back in the day we did not have many choices so we put up with it. The last time I went to my local Cdn Tire store, I asked for as certain item, the clerk searched on the computer and said that the it came up 'not in stock', then he told me that I should go to aisle 7 and look anyway because the data base is usually not uo to date. Any clue here to your problems, Mr. Wetmore?
  15. pants 7 from Japan writes: Wow, a Canadian retailer that is trying new things and not just rolling over!
  16. Kublah Khan from Canada writes: Stores are just too big. They need to put small parks inside the stores so you can stop and rest while you shop! Another possibility would be a small train system that would circle the store.
  17. Brodie Chapman from North Bay Ontario, writes: These huge superstores of which we have one are great. But remember, with an aging population, people do not want to walk far for what they need. Cashiers and customer service needs to be decentralized as well as centralized. I worked at Canadian Tire many years ago. The comment then is still the comment now, lack of knowledge and poor customer service. I want to qaulify that comment and say not the full time but the student part time workers need more training in the knowledge of the products. My inlaws will not shop at Canadian Tire because it involves too much walking. Funny how we come full circle. The old neighborhood corner store lookes pretty good these days.
  18. Titus Cheeks from London, Canada writes: Everyone is trying to sell everything. It's hard to tell one chain of stores from another already. In a few years one of them will try to differentiate themselves from the rest by, know, the way things used to be. Loblaws found out the hard way that when you 'diworsify', things often don't work out. Canadian Tire...stick to what you do best....I don't want bread that tastes like a tire.
  19. The Beaver from Canada writes: Canadian Tire needs to look at its pricing policies The Canadian Superstore will out sell them by far on garden Products.
    Customers feel ripped off by Tire,and react by not going there.You can not sell a Barbeque for $ 1200 one day then next month
    try selling it for $ 720.00.Spur of the moment Items are marked up to almost 300 % (Bolts Nuts etc.) The public is not stupid
    Water Softener (Potassium based) went from $9.95 to $15.95 in 2 months that is a whopping 60 %.Item for Item I can do better
    at Home Depot or the Superstore.
  20. David Eccles from Canada writes: Many years ago when one of the only Canada Tire stores was on Yonge St. close to St Clair I recall the staff were on roller skates to speed up the location of your order.
    Now with advancing years & when I can find a member of their staff, I feel like asking where I can catch the bus to the sections I need.
    This is called progress?
  21. Tough Camper from Squamish, Canada writes: Many of the comments in here resonate with my experiences. I used to love going to CrappyTrash with my dad, to a little store in Fergus, Ontario. The aisles were crowded, but the (probably full-time) staff was knowledgeable and helpful.

    Now I go to big-box stores with a sense of weariness before I even get in there. How long will it take me to find what I want? It's an overwhelming amount of stuff, and 99.999% of it is not what I want. I need a staff member, but ooops, there's usually no one around. I have at times just looked up for a camera, and tried waving my hands around for help. But no one is watching, so I emerge from my cavernous section, and keep looking, and looking...

    Where did the customer service go? And why so many part-timers who clearly cannot help the customer? At least when I go to Home Depot, there are staff there who still know what they're talking about.

    Maybe they were all trained at the Crappy Trashes of the past, but when the part-time work came, they had to go elsewhere.
  22. The Beaver from Canada writes: I feel that the Home Depot has got it right...hire retired Plumbers and Electricians and Painters and Woodworkers you get the advise you want and need.Ohhh and by the way .....would you like to have that cut charge Thank you.
  23. Joey Junior from Canada writes: Canadian Tire challenge... 10 minutes to find 5 products manufactured in Canada. If auto and tires are not mainstay products they should change their corporate name to Chinese shiny stuff.
  24. Mike Earle from Saint John NB, Canada writes: Most, if not all, of the comments about problems at Canadian Tire stores have a central theme: poor service. The same holds true for the store closest to me. There are 2 stores in Saint John. The west side store is small, cramped and way overdue for a face-lift. I understand a new building has been proposed. Regardless, I will continue to avoid it unless the service improves. I tried to return an item that I had purchased at that store more than 30 days prior and the lady at the service desk laughed at me. I said I could return something older than 30 days at Walmart, so she suggested I take the item to Walmart for a refund.

    The store on the east side, which is a longer drive for me, is much better due to, yes, the building size and layout, but first & foremost, good service stemming from the owner's attitude. The owner himself walked with me through the cavernous store to find what I wanted and helped me take the item to the cash. Service is what motivates me to return to this store. Quality and cost are to a lesser extent also motivators. Believe it or not, I bought some windshield wipers at the store in St Stephen NB and the fellow at the service counter came outside into the parking lot to help me install the wipers. That's service! I sincerely hope that the owner/operator of the new west side store kicks in and improves the service and revamps staff attitude.

    Perhaps Mr Wetmore will have an opportunity to read all of our comments on the pervasive problem with many stores. He did a reasonable job at Aliant, let's hope he can do better at Canadian Tire.
  25. The Natrix from Toronto, Canada writes: Get rid of their pothead employees and I guarantee that you will see says jump up.

    And what is a 'Smart' Store btw?
  26. Moi Too from Yelowknife, Canada writes: Professor Micheal Foote has said that the large box stores will falter as the boomers age and not wish to wander around large stores. He didn't mention, as others here have, poor service.

    Went into our local CTC yesterday and met a friend who was, as I was, looking for staff. When we did spot a young teenage lad he hightailed it down the nearest aisle. I made my purchase next door at Home Hardware where the knowledgeable clerk actually climbed to the above shelve overstock to get what was needed.
  27. Ken Woodwords from ottawa, Canada writes: I do not have the patience anymore to run around in a big store to find items that I do not usually buy quite often. As an example for all my plumbing stuff I go to a small store close by, pay a couple of dollars more but buy quality products and the person at the counter has all the knowledge that I need.
  28. R W from ST C, Canada writes: My local Canadian Tire was 'modernized' a short time ago and I hate it. I used to love to go in an spend time just browsing and invariably buying something I didn't really need.
    Now, the exact opposite. The aisles are far too narrow and the way they are now setup it's extremely difficult to see the overhead signs from across the store. I avoid going now. It's a shame really.
  29. Kevin Desmoulin from TO, Canada writes: It is the staff that do not say Hi, Can I help you? Do you nee any Help?
    plus these big stores where finding 1 item can be a chore. but the staff should be helping.
  30. Louis Elias from Canada writes: Living in the Junction, I have access to all of the Big stores.....Depot seems to have it together in terms of service knowledge....but I still try and support the local small shops.....they know everything!!!!
  31. Ray Heard from Canada writes: Its impossible to find items in Canadian Tire stores -- and there is nobody there to help you. The counter-clerks are surly. Its my source of last resort.
  32. Outlier in Calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: I definitely prefer to shop Canadian, but CT has made the experience so painful relative to Home Depot that I tend to shop more often at HD. Lower prices, trained helpful staff- everything CT doesn't have.
  33. Richard Keefer from Omemee, Canada writes: I have noticed upward creep in CTC pricing, and gaps in DIY items that you need to find elsewhere.

    Conspicuously poor quality in many items, and with all the Chinese goods (occasionally with trading company names), I have to think that there is a colossal amount of downlining.

    To me, CTC stands for parasitic roundeye bignoses who have a sense of entitlement in grabbing a large margin for doing nothing, and whose offshoring is undermining our system. If Chinese companies opened outlets here, I would switch in a flash, if only because there would be no pretence over the origin of the goods,-- and chances are that prices would be about a third of what the CTC roundeyes charge.
  34. N Y from Canada writes: Instead of re-jigging the store format, CT should really revisit its customer service policies. I don't shop CT anymore after having had a checkout person demand to paw through my briefcase before leaving the store (after I made a purchase!). Returning an item is an experience on par with a root canal. So many other chains have figured out that quality customer service is worth whatever small revenue losses come from treating people respectfully. I suspect there are many others like me who avoid CT and other chains who continue to treat customers as though they're the problem.
  35. Phil Stooke from London, Canada writes: Giant stores on the edge of town are horrible. I want small local stores, thank you very much. Don't talk to me about efficiency - it's always your efficiency and never mine! Come back to my local mall, 'cause I'm not going to your Power Centre.
  36. Andrew Pakula from Canada writes: I do try to buy from Canadian Tire whenever possible as it is a Canadian business but quite often lately I find myself avoiding it and going to Home Depot instead because of poor service and poor selection of goods (if you can even find them in the store).

    Canadian Tire only seems to hire teenagers, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that is older than 18 years old working there. These employees seems poorly trained and lack knowledge of the products or their locations in the store. Also I think over the last 5-6 years there has been a large decline in available selection of products, especially tools.
  37. Ben E from Quebec, Canada writes: 'The newer stores are generating 20-per-cent fewer sales per square foot than their older, smaller counterparts.'

    DOH!! If the aisles are bigger and less crowded, it's a no brainer that sales per square foot are less for the same inventory.

    The more spacious stores would be great if the employees were knowledgeable and available. There's nothing quite like standing around for 10 or 15 minutes while the loudspeaker repeats its mantra, 'Assistance need in the paint department' and then the person who finally shows up doesn't know paint from pudding.

    The layout in the newer stores is just crazy (unless the goal is to make you wander around and perhaps get the impulse to make a few unplanned purchases). One store I go to used to have electrical parts, lamps, and light bulbs all in the same place. Now they are in three different sections. Often an article on special is entirely removed from its usual place and put on display at the end of a distant aisle. The empty spot has a card, 'This article available at the end of aisle 666.'

    Keeping stock seems to be a problem too. You can't increase sales when popular products are sold out and not restocked for WEEKS.

    More and more shoddy merchandise is crowding out quality brands, especially in the tools department.
  38. The Real PS from Canada writes: The CTC store where I live NEVER has staff to help me find anything. And they never have enough cashiers.
    Last weekend but one, at mid day on a Saturday they had 2 cashiers open, when I complained the reaction was just a dumb stare, they simply don't get it. .
    I cannot count the number of times I've walked out of the store as I refuse to line up for 15 minutes to buy one item.
    And don't tell me its a cost issue, they have lost enough sales from me alone to pay for another cashier for a couple of hours, multiply that over hundreds of people and you soon see why their sales are down.
  39. M Clarke from Canada writes: I concur with the comments about the poor customer service at CT. The worst customer service I have ever had (actually, it was non-existent, so I didn't actually 'have it') has been at the Church/Yonge location in Toronto. The big box hardware stores (Home Depot/Kent, etc.) offer far superior customer service, in my experience.
  40. Freddy Rose from Saint John, Canada writes: I will reiterate what most have said. The service at the Canadian Tire stores is really bad. So most of the time I shop at Home Depot, or Home Hardware. The people at both of these stores seem genuinely interested in helping me find what I need.
  41. Paul Brown from Vancouver, Canada writes: I bought my first truck clutch from CT over 30 years ago. I bought camping gear etc. over the years. When I moved to Vancouver from Montreal, I really missed not having Canadian Tire. When they finally arrived, I was excited. My excitement was short lived. I found them to be unfriendly, difficult stores to find what you are looking for, and terrible if you want to return an item.

    On Saturday I broke down and went to the main Vancouver store on Cambie. It took for ever to find what I was looking for. No one was willing to help. After an hour I found what I wanted, paid for them and went to my truck to find I had a parking ticket. As it turns out there are signs stating you have to buy a parking ticket. Had I seen them I would have surely bought a ticket. I took my ticket and bill in hand back to the store and showed a manager. I got the old, tried and true response, ' WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!' Great what a lot of help that was. I had wasted more time. I decided to return what I had purchased. But when I saw the return line of 10 people waiting as one clerk served them, I had lost my patience and left the store. It was 5:00 pm on a Saturday, you would think the store could manage to have more people on the return desk. Given the financial crisis and the poor retail climate, this kind of service is deplorable. I can assure you that I will never again shop at CT. I will tell as many people as possible not to shop at CT. I need a new car battery, but they will certainly not get my business. I was going to buy their stock but I would not even buy that now. Its too bad that they are so out-of-touch with their consumers.

    Even the few things that I have purchased their recently have been of very poor quality, but I did not have the stomach to return them as it is such an onerous and distasteful experience.

    So mark me down as another Canadian who will not support your business and I will seek out a more deserving company!!!
  42. Tollbooth Willie from Canada writes: Canadian Tire used to be my favourite store. They had a great selection of products and there was a logical layout of the store, so I always knew exactly where to find things. Whatever I needed for the home or car, I would always go there first. Ever since our local store was renovated, it is now the last place I will shop. The store layout is just a big jumbled mess and there are far less products to choose from. They really should have just left things alone.
  43. Helter Skelter from Toronto, Canada writes: The problem with the customer service has to do with the Dealer arrangement that currently exists. The Dealers (who own the stores except the real estate) have the corporation by the you-know-what and they hire their own employees, manage their store how they please.

    While the model works well as an entrepreneur model where each store tries to do well in order to make more money it makes sure the corp has a very difficult time introducing changes or standards to the stores.

    If the corp can fix the Dealer contract terms (or buy them out?) then they can make serious changes fast. Until then they have an uphill battle convincing the Dealers that they have better ideas on how to manage their store. I'm convinced it will take some very bad times results for the Dealers to start to listen and trust.
  44. Dan Thomas from Canada writes: Canadian Tire in Dundas Ontario serves their customers. Customer service is what they do. If you need an item and they don't have it in the store an employee goes to the off site warehouse to get the product, even 5 minutes before close. See a dirty old boxed product that looks like it has seen better days and a lot of storage? They sell it deeply discounted. Seriously, two years ago they were clearing $130 air hockey tables for $15, the boxes were in terrible condition. I was at a big box CTC this past weekend where they had a damaged item that could be fixed with some wood glue, I asked if they would reduce the price and there was no budging at all, a slight discount that amounted to about 5% of the sticker price. Same with the employee knowledge, I happen to know that the Dundas store paid (don't know if they still do) an incentive to employees who would learn about the products using the CTC product training program, they knew their stuff. The local one I know a relative works at won't pay an incentive and the employees don't know much about the products they sell. Perceived Indifference is the number one reason customers take their business else where!
  45. Andrew Pakula from Canada writes: The Real PS from Canada writes: The CTC store where I live NEVER has staff to help me find anything. And they never have enough cashiers.


    This is very true. I was actually at Canadian Tire last week and there was only ONE cashier open with about 8 people in line waiting to pay. This is not acceptable, people should not have to wait 10 minutes to pay for an item. I really needed the part though otherwise I might have walked out.
  46. Maritimer in Nova Scotia from Canada writes: I shop at the 'new & improved' CT store here maybe twice a year.
    I am sure defective returns are simply put back on the shelf with their box taped up.
    I don't like shopping in a store with a lot of the stock locked up in cages or behind glass.
    A lack of checkouts has always been a problem -- the same as Walmart.
    I definitely prefer Home Depot -- better layout, more stock, helpful staff.
  47. Raymond P from Canada writes: CT isn't the only large retailer with poor quality service. I only shop there when I must. At Home Depot recently I picked up an item on sale. The sign said $14.99 however when scanned it came up at $23.99. The cashier called the department and in a few minutes someone called back and said $19.99. I had the cashier call someone else and their response was $17.99. Then the head cashier showed up and again told me it was $17.99. Finally I requested the store manager. He came over and I made him walk with me to the shelf where I read out the sign to him.

    Because of the signage/scanning discrepancy I got the product for $4.99 however this took 15 minutes. For about 6 months I shopped elsewhere but eventually went back because it's 2 minutes from where I live and there's no service advantage elsewhere.
  48. SAYNO2PROPAGANDA SPINNER from Toronto, Canada writes: These guys are doomed. What's Telcom got to do with retail? Answer.. nothing!! I sold to Telecom giants, they have a narrow product line and it's there to sell 'services'. Canadian Tire sells junk to people who can't fix, maintain, or build squat. And they offer multiples of the same item, which confuses the heck out of their 'all thumbs' customers. This is just another big box that stalled and has started coasting downhill. It'll take some time to gather momentum, but there will be no stopping it.

  49. Stan Hunter from Canada writes: My faulty perspective is 'the larger the store, the less inclined to purchase or visit'. I find WalMart particularly frustratingly stocked with poor selection and quality, though at the same time selling everything possible from hardware to groceries.

    Small, specific, and quality works for me.........witness Lee Valley or Mountain Co-op.
  50. andrew breen from Welland, Canada writes: I have been waiting for some one to write about the new Canadian Tire superstore since I first visited one last weekend in Welland.
    I walked in looking for two things, am interchangeable screwdriver and a large boiling pot; you would think these two things would be an easy find. I started walking around and felt like I was in a maze, aisle after aisle and I couldn’t even see the tool section, I did see huge coolers full of milk products. really ,milk at crappyT?
    After pissed off for walking all the way to the other end of the store, I found the section that has all of the kitchenware products, this section seemed to spread out into housewares and I was lost again.
    So I get to the pots and pans only to find they have a pot way to small or way to big then what I was looking for. Finding tools was another nightmare, I had to walk to the far back of the store.
    This is stupid! Take advice from the customers, not from analyzing customers &8220;shopping patterns&8221;. I would expect this at the Bay / Dundas location, not in WELLAND!
  51. Raymond P from Canada writes: The one and only time I attempted to shop at Walmart was when they had a sale on hockey gloves. Unfortunately they weren't assembled in pairs but thrown into a dump bin. Perhaps the manager was American and thought that all sport gloves were sold singly like baseball gloves. I left and went to a hockey equipment store. A clerk spent almost an hour with me and I bought gloves and skates.
  52. Frank Smith from Canada writes: Canadian icon yes but I've got to agree with the comments about customer service. Here's my story.

    Sawhorses were on sale and I arrived early to take advantage. Upon locating the skid containing dozens of sawhorses, I asked the store employee if there was a limit. He informed that there was a limit of 2, which made complete sense given the limitations that one sawhorse represents ... kinda like buying one shoe!

    However, at the checkout, the clerk informed me that, because of the sale, there was in fact a limit of 1 per customer, which was subsequently confirmed by a VERY surly assistant manager who was in the vicinity. After a brief protest about the logic of this approach, I sensed quickly that this was going to be a losing argument. So, I simply purchased my 1 sawhorse, took it to my car ... a promptly returned to the store and bought the second sawhorse needed, going to a different checkout to pay this time.

    This says it all about Canadian Tire when it comes to customer service.
  53. max from edmonton from Canada writes: Plenty of people complaining they can't navigate a store, and staff can't answer questions.

    How do some of these people dress and feed themselves?
  54. frank kokot from Oshawa, Canada writes: I'd like to join the crappo tire bitchin' parade - as an ex-customer I have many CT stories I tell in 'tell your worst CT stories swapathons' with friends and neighbours. Favourites include trying to return car battery that was DOA. I was accused of not maintaining it properly - the water level was low. I had to point out the battery was just purchased and was a zero maintenance battery - no fills required - ever. Others include 'knowledgeable' teen staffers that knew absolutely nothing about a bicycle I was interested in - how many gears, didn't know that the wheels came in different sizes - etc. I did 'sell' one to myself. Took the assembled unit home. It was misaligned, the front fork was installed backwards - etc. Took me more time and effort than if I had built from scratch. I also could have gotten a better deal elsewhere than the $100 off super dooper beyond all reason mega sooper savings deal of a lifetime. I'm also finding the shopping 'experience' gets worse. Besides the ONLY two of the ten checkouts that are EVER open even in peak rush times.
    In order to buy electrical items, they have to be placed in in sealed security bags before taken to checkout. Finally I've just had my OPTIONS/CashDisadvantage MasterCard jacked up from 19% to 28%. You notice I said ex-customer of CT at the start? I've just joined the crush of friends/neighbours that are staying away in droves. To quoth the raven - NEVERMORE!
  55. Peter B from Calgary, Canada writes: I sometimes buy stuff at the Canadain tire store and find it is an ok store. However, I never ever let them guys work on my car. This is because about 10 years ago I had them flush my rad and they put to weak a fluid in it and it froze making a clunky noise.

    I brought it in and they would not take responcibility instead blaming my rad pump and said I need like $400 worth of repairs.

    Instead I parked my car in an underground heated parking lot for a few hours added some new antifreeze and it worked fine for four more years.

    I have never used Canadian Tire car services since. Unless you have money to burn I would recommend never using their car repair services either.
  56. J M from London, Canada writes: Horrible service. By far the most hostile managers of any store I've shopped in. Where does this bad vibe come from? Walmart sells the same crap, but the employes are nicer. Home Hardware is much nicer. The local RONA is so poorly run as to be almost comic, but the employees are first rate (the RONA on Wonderland road). Helpful and very gracious to their customers. I have to assume there is bad management at the very very top at Canadian Tire and that it filters down. Each time an employee has a bad experience he or she passes it on to those employees that are lower an on the ladder. It the company did not have the word "Canadian" in the their name and didn't hand out their stupid CT money, I suspect they have gone under long ago.
  57. william nicholls from St.Alban,QC, Canada writes: I as born in the country of QUEBEC, Every time I go to can. tire I can not get service in ENGLISH, is the name correct or should it be called quebec tire???????? An ENGLISH person existing in quebec BILL
  58. Richard Keefer from Omemee, Canada writes: Beyond the fact that it would be better named "Shanghai Tire", a thing that has rankled customers in the larger Peterborough store is automated checkouts,-- especially in an area that has been hard-hit economically (GM was the area's largest employer).

    Given the huge downlined margins on Chinese goods, this is sort of a last straw in lazy bignose greed. I feel badly for the Chinese, who should be a model for us in hard work. Their producers are also being taken advantage of by bignosed Canadian and American troll distributors.

    The cashiers at the main Peterborough store have always added a friendly touch along with service when it was needed. Roundeye shortsightedness at its worst?
  59. Big Z from WPG, Canada writes: You want to know why customer service is so bad? I'll tell you: terrible pay, little to no benefits. I worked at a Canadian Tire in high school and my first few years of university, enough hours to qualify for the profit sharing plan, and that's the only reason I stayed that long. I was there 4 years, and there were very few people that lasted as long as me or were there before me that were still there when I left. Off the top of my head, outside of management I'd say roughly 10 people out of a staff of around 100-110 not including the auto service. People that had been there for 20 years were still making less than $10 an hour. 99% of people would not stay in that job. There are so many jobs around that pay well now (at least where I am in Southern Manitoba) that jobs at CT are not attractive to anyone with half a brain, they could attract all sorts of retirees etc, but not for $9 an hour when they can drive autoparts around town for $14 an hour, or numerous other jobs in that pay range ($13-$20 an hour for no education). Maybe my dealer was especially cheap, but after 3 months they were basically supposed to either give people a raise or let them go, and they did neither, its called a wage review and they didn't do it. They also did not follow many provincial labour laws, such as overtime laws. Fortunately for them, most of the people working there had no idea about labour laws, I wanted to rat them out so bad but I was really young and not sure what consequence I could face. I know people that worked there for years and did not get a single raise. I got a couple in my first year and only a few after that. Not only is everyone starting at a lousy wage, they do not pay for the proven quality employees, and people like that lose motivation or get PO'd and find another job. CT is right up there with Wal-Mart in the US. I know people here that worked at Wal-Mart and they are appalled at what I experienced, so I'm assuming Wal-Mart is better in Canada.
  60. Bill Wall from BC, Canada writes: I've noticed that the Depot has stepped it up in terms of service which used to be minimal. CT has to do the same. Their service people need to be well marked (shirts, uniforms, whatever) and use a little more eye contact with customers in case the customer needs help finding something. I've tried in vain many times to wave down a staff member only to have them zoom by for some more important task than customer service.

    I've lost a lot of confidence in the flyers too. All too often I go there in response to a flyer only to find the item not available and the raincheck system a pain to navigate.

    I used to have a high level of "customer comfort" with CT which has been eroded in the last few years.

    Forget the milk Wetmore, focus on the customers, organize your inventory more intuitively, and make your sales promos real.
  61. Fred Boner from Ottawa, Canada writes: CT recently combined my local store and another in the West End into a 'superstore' which I no longer shop at. Where I could walk to my 'local' the new one is a driving/parking nightmare to get in and out of. Home Depot/Loblaws get my housewares/paint/tool business now. For the odd bike seat or hockey helmet I go to the CT near work since I have to drive anyways. RIP Fairlawn and Clyde Stores you are sorely missed.

    PS Why don't they give up the facade and just call it China Tire?
  62. gordon davies from Victoria b.c., Canada writes: With the demise of mom & pop hardware stores by Can Tire & their ilk , have found them a broader selection there . An observation though , like Sears the quality is as advertised but barely.
  63. Dale Brown from Victoria, Canada writes: What not to like about Canadian Tire? It sells crappy brand names compared to say, Home Depot. And the young staff are ignorant and unhelpful. The overall effect - cheap! When I am buying a durable item, whether it is a tool or camping equipment, I do not want something that is going to be thrown away after the season is over.
  64. Richard Merriman from Reunion writes: Shopping at CT always requires two trips - one to buy something and one to return it. Mountains of cheap 'Made in China' garbage as far as the eye can see - what a 'Canadian' success story.
  65. john shantz from Canada writes: Once a Canadian Tire regular, I now shop only for things I can't find elsewhere. The ridiculous advertising...........reg 29.99 on sale for 4.99........ only destroys their credibility. Their return policy is restrictive and their staff uninformed.
    Rona, Costco, Home Hardware and Lowe's seem to be picking up a lot of dissatisfied CTC regulars and will continue to do so.
    Its interesting that the writer did not identify much of the junk that they are deleting from the smart stores.
  66. John McCain from Canada writes: I was in a ChinaTire at Queensway and the Westmall in Toronto yesterday and once again only confirmed why I try not to go to CTC.
    Nice big well lit store but try and find staff on the floor who want to help that is the problem. They are typically 16 years old and when they see a customer they either scurry like a cockroach or just seem plain uninterested.

    Rather than the large stores per se causing the drop in sales it might be more the management types who run these larger stores. Are the smaller stores run by owners who have been with CTC longer and actually care about the customer? I suspect the problem in sales is related to management culture and very little to do with the size of the shop floor.

    I have noticed an improvement though in keeping the shelves organized over the last year. Previously most of these stores were so messy it appeared they cleaned up the shelves only once a month.

    And please get rid of those tacky credit card salespeople at front of the stores on arrival. I see those people and the first thing I want to do is leave.
  67. Gord Lewis from Please Define 'SMART', Canada writes: CTC should have gotten smart at least 10 years ago, when I suffered the last straw, and officially decided to shop there no longer. One poster has it dead-on: you need to make two visits for every purchase.

    The company is a joke. Tim Hortons is another so-called 'canadian icon' that is heading down the same path, except it will take longer, for two reasons: we are utterly addicted to sugar, and unlike hardware there are few other options on the highway. Lowes appreciates my business and I will continue crossing the bridge to shop there . . .
  68. shop floor from oshawa, Canada writes: If I want aisles full of crap and knick knacks I will go to Walmart.............PLEASE bring back the Canadian Tire Store that sells auto parts, yard tools and hardware
  69. consultant 4you from Canada writes: If you are not at Can.Tire same day of sale, you will likely not get the sale item - they don't have the inventory for the sale item. Sure - it gets you into the store, and then maybe you leave with something else, but usually i leave with frustration.

    Reminds me of how Zellars ran their stores -
    The only thing I like is the credit card which gets me a discount on the gas. Spend 1,000$ a month and get 10cents a litre discount next month. But then they went ahead and changed that you have to spend $1500 a month. Ticks me off, but for now, I will still get my has there at least...
  70. O Danada from Canada writes: Haven't been in a CT in years because of all the reasons given by other posters. Seems nothing has changed. Best story I have relates to an exchange of a cheap electronic device I'd bought my daughter, that didn't work from the moment we opened it. Took it back to the store in Pembroke. Finally found an employee to unlock the cabinet they kept the item in and as she passed it to me another employee rushed over and grabbed it out of my hand and yelled at me that 'that one' was for display only, and he'd just put it there and if I wanted one, I'd have to go three aisles over and pick one off the shelf. When I suggested he give me back the one he was holding and replace it himself with one from three aisles over he said he didn't have the time to be stocking the shelf every time someone wanted one. I then told him loudly and graphically my preference for where he could stock it. I got my money back from a surly teen on the 'customer service' desk and have never been to a CT again.
  71. Adrian C from Kitchener, Canada writes: I purchased a few months ago a digital scale from Canadian Tire (I believe was CAD 39.99) , then next day found it at Sobeys for CAD 19.99. I gracefully returned the one from Canadian Tire in the box (not used) as I found the difference in price too much to swallow.

    My experiences with the Canadian Tire auto shop were mostly bad, I mean mostly really unbelievably bad so I stopped using them long time ago.
  72. Rob Swanson from Edmonton, Canada writes: The sad story of Canadian retailing's steady decline began with Eaton punks, and ends with WalMart style stores, no matter the name on the door.

    This is mostly on us consumers, as we decided that quality in product and service wasn't something we needed to pay for, and is compounded by the "China price" model that consumes all retailing. The possible exception is female fashion, where, if my lady friends accumulated receipts are any indication, margins are near astronomical.

    One of the most instructive experiences is stumbling on an old time hardware store in a smaller community. Crowded isles, older staff, and very few notions, but lots of high margin items stocked for a purpose. That purpose is to serve the customers needs, and build a wants/solutions retail relationship, that enables returning sales. I do not go to the Home hardware in Devon for milk. I go because the damn toilet is busted, and I have no bigger priority than to fix the thing, pronto and with one trip. They listen, suggest items and inform my repair plan, all the while realizing that I, the individual, in a Thursday evening panic, am their meal ticket. Something I will gladly pay for, and will offer patronage for.

    The contrast with big box is striking, and should instruct Canadian retailing.
  73. Biggerlies InOddawa from Oddawa, Canada writes: Here in Oddawa I used to be a regular in the old Carling Ave store. Since they went BIG down the street I've been in there twice and neither time did I find what I was looking for. I haven't been back in over a year. I shop Lee Valley, Home Hardware, Home Depot and RONA. They all have knowledgeable helpful staff and reliable product. I avoid china-mart like the plague, and I refuse to buy clothing or furniture at the grocery store so if I were going to CT you can bet I would not be buying bread and milk!
  74. slapdash dapoint from harper is not a conservative, Canada writes: And the chain known best for auto parts has added something more essential: food.


    oh yeah, real smart.

    how about:

    1) you actually stock the auto parts instead of having to order in spark plugs (wtf?)
    2) staff the parts desk with people who know something, anything about repairing vehicles. and doesn't think the counter-productive stupid little compute is gospel
    3) when you're looking to sell an item, call napa to see how much their charging. when i do, napa is always A LOT cheaper than CTC.

    how's that for smart?
  75. peter fletcher from Vancouver, Canada writes: Here in White Rock the store has been expanded and stuffed with more crap. I have gone in twice in respose to items in their flyer. On the first day and then the third day and both times they did not have the items. When I received a really stupid response; "Abbostford has 35)";(... duh..Abbotford is 30 min. away) the fist time I asked to speak to the manager Micelle Morgan I was told that she would not come out to speak to me until I told the clerk what I wanted.
    The second item they ordered for me and I waited 4 weeks. Then when it came in they phoned me on a Sat. to tell me they had it in.
    10 min later the same person phoned back to ask when I would be in to pick it up. She wanted me to tell her what hour I would be there. The next day I got another call asking when I would be in to pick it up. I guess they were haveing a slow week and needed my $129. When I went in to pick it up I again asked to speak to the Manager and was told that she was to busy. I left my # for her to call. I am still waiting.
    "Attention Canadian Tire Shoppers...MANAGER MISSING"
    Maybe next time they have a slow week I will get another urget call.
  76. BETTER TO LIGHT A SMALL CANDLE THAN TO SIT AND CURE THE DARKNESS from Canada writes: I get more help from the employees (associates, if you like) at Walmart than I do at Canadian Tire. In the older CT stores with
    often longerstanding enployees you can OFTEN rely upon SOME help.
    CT should install pricecheck machines such as those at Walmart
    Walmart prices are usually better for the same product. Pull up your socks, CanTire. I own shares in neither.
  77. BETTER TO LIGHT A SMALL CANDLE THAN TO SIT AND CURE THE DARKNESS from Canada writes: william nicholls from St.Alban,QC, Canada writes: I as born in the country of QUEBEC, Every time I go to can. tire I can not get service in ENGLISH,
    QUEBEC HAS TWO OFFICIAL LANGUAGES. If I lived there I would make the attempt to learn both. Do they not teach both languages in school? Since my French is not always first rate Quebecois who speak both languages will often help me out. Vive le Quebec et Vive le Canada Uni. Bonne chance, mon ami.
  78. Jim Vickers from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Many of the comments about not being able to find anything because the layout is poor, and unqualified employees are true for many CT stores. However I think it depends more on the local owner/operator of the store.
    The CT store in Selkirk Manitoba has some retirees working there who know their stuff and are customer friendly.
  79. Concerned Taxpayer from Canada writes: I'll add to (echo) the running theme:

    1. Poor service and ignorant, unhelpful staff (if you can find anyone to 'help' you); and

    2. Lack of stock, particularly items on sale which sell out 3 minutes after the store opens. Even run of the mill items are in poor supply.

    3. I'm also getting tired of seeing things advertised on sale in the flyer only to be told these items weren't brought in (at every store in my city). It's either false advertising or incompetent staff.

    Now I won't even waste my time. I'll drive right past the 2 CanTires in my area and drive the extra 20 minutes to a Walmart. At least there, I'll know they'll have what I'm looking for.
  80. Jon Q Public from Canada writes: It's quite simple - the new stores SUCK. The last thing we need is another Walmart clone. Bring back Canadian TIRE .. and lose the housewares.
  81. Winnipegger in Winnipeg from Winnipeg, Canada writes: anyplace where you have to hunt down a kid with a key in order to get a $40 hockey stick out of the display cabinet won't get my business... same for tools... they need to walk every $5 socket or wrench from the "display" cabinet to the front cashier. To me that means, "we're pretty sure you're going to steal this". Lifetime warranty on Mastercraft tools????, but now only with original receipt (conveniently receipts are all on thermal paper where all writing magically disappears after about 6 months). They stopped being on my "A list" about 5 years ago. Now I might go into a store 3 or 4 times a year. I try to avoid them as much as possible. I don't even bother watching the flyer anymore.
  82. S R from United States writes: It looks like a lot have the same opinion , it was a great store with great service that has been destroyed by the big box mentality.
    I used to be in and out if CT in 10 mins, find what im looking and get out with a full bank of cashers to cash out. Now I cant even find light blubs and there only two cashes open out of a bank of 15.
  83. Richard Merriman from Reunion writes: BETTER TO LIGHT A SMALL CANDLE THAN TO SIT AND CURE THE DARKNESS, I took French all through grade school and high school and all I know definitively is that Pitou mange le rote de boeuf.
  84. Todd Roibbins from Regina, Canada writes: It is interesting that they have a new CEO that has a background in the airline industry. CTC is the Air Canada of the retail industry. We love the complain about it but we still go back. I had an oil change done and I asked to have engine light checked. Their last advert. metioned it. Good marketing crappy service. It took them six hours to do it. Then at the end they did not do the engine light. It was 90 bucks to clear it and I had to tell them, " I would have gone to Mr lube and got my car in less then 15 mins I wanted the engine light done!!" (BTW you can now go to an auto parts store to buy the gadget for less than 60 bucks!!) It was cleared and it came on again. They had the car for another 7 hours the next day. They claim that the K&N filter was the cause since "cars like mine don't need it." It appears that they believe that it lets to much air in. I bought it at CTC after waiting a week for it to arrive. If they want to be SMART they should deal with the big stuff and leave the oil changes to others. They appeared to be more interested in higher end things anyway. Food at CTC is not going to work unless it is very cheap. CTC does not have the scale to get the deal that the big boys can get. They are trying to do the easy thing by putting in things in the shelves. The harder part for a CEO would be changing the culture. Train people and spend money on them. As the population ages SERVICE will make or break retail. - I would interested in the results on their automated surveys. Is there any incentive programs to employees on the results? - Maybe CTC can employ Shoppers - Well, they got me this time but I have made a promise to my wife not to shop at CTC for a year. I am fortuante that she has a good memory. I wonder if all of us would do that after negative experiences then the boys down east would notice.
  85. Kim Philby from Canada writes: Every time there's a story about Canadian Tire or Rogers, the almost universal complaint is about atrocious customer service. This must be getting back to these companies. So, why no improvement? Should we assume that these companies truly don't care about their customers? It would seem so.
  86. Interested Observer from rrrolling up the rrrim ..., Canada writes: Aikenhead's got it right, when they first opened - they had knowledgeable staff who could actually answer your questions (often, retired tradesmen with years and years of practical experience and knowledge). However, as it morphed into Home Depot ... it dumbed down, probably as wages went down and age of "helpers' too. Canadian Tire is poised perfectly, given the number of unemployed during The Great Recession, to provide jobs to experienced workers who've lost jobs as plants close and move South.
  87. Bill Smith from Canada writes: I only wish we had a Canadian Tire in our town (Nelson). I have to drive 20 miles to Castlegar which is a town half the size of Nelson, so don't go too often, maybe once every 2 or 3 months. If there was one here I would be there a couple of times a week. When I'm at the store I always run into people from Nelson. The Castlegar store recently increased it's size and I don't like it as well as the older small store, things are too hard to find, but I have no problem with the service or the products and prices. Come on CTC build a store here.
  88. Darcy K from Toronto, Canada writes: Kim Philby - CT corporate couldn't care a less about bad service at retail stores; how inexperienced or product ignorant the staff are; or how many people get ripped off by the auto centers. CT corporate's customers are dealers - stores that buy from CT corporate as a supplier. Head office only cares about keeping its dealers happy.
  89. Scott T from West of Toronto, Canada writes: I've given up on Canadian Tire for the most part. The shelves are poorly stocked especially for sale items. I think they must only get one or two of sale items as they are always out even on the first day. Several times I've asked staff to check inventory and had the response that there are several in the store, but can't find them! How to lose a guaranteed sale.

    I agree with the store reorganizing to make related products closer together. In one of the newly expanded stores, they put hardware in the back corner, about as far from tools as you can get. Guess they think that if you have to cross the store, you may see and buy something else on impulse. Too me it's just a big confusing waste of time.
  90. Deskof Reason from Canada writes: I have zero sympathy for this company. I stopped shopping there two years ago when I got the worst customer service of my LIFE from the store manager in Kanata. Ever been sworn at repeatedly by a retail store manager?

    I have spent a lot of money at CTC over the years and they lost a lot of business from me from that day forward.

    There are many competitors. Some are far more deserving and sell less crap from China.

  91. Robert Dryburgh from Winnipeg, Canada writes: I try to avoid Canadian Tire if I can. Poorly trained staff with that "I don't know" attitude is the main reason. Most retailers suffer the same problem but not as bad. I have always found better tire prices elsewhere because you can negotiate with the sales people or owners. At Canadian Tire "the price is on the wall"
  92. The Middle Finger ..I.. from Canada writes: " if you're not managing your cash on your balance sheet extremely carefully – that means your inventory ....................... "


    Since when did inventory become cash?
  93. Lowen Wrainger from Canada writes: Gee, there are a lot of people complaining about customer service at CTC. Well, duh, that involves real knowledge-able workers and they might have to be paid real wages.
  94. Darcy K from Toronto, Canada writes: I was in a CT store - today - looking at portable AC units. I found 4 units online, but the store I visited had just 2 of them in boxes on the retail floor. Not a single AC unit was open, on display. If you're going to put something in your house, you want to see what it looks like. So I'll be going to Home Depot to see and buy, where I'm far less disappointed overall.
  95. Grampa Canuck from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Yup, I've pretty well had it with Chinadian Tire myself. Aisles and aisles full of over-fancified made-in-China junk. Items spread all over Hall's 2 1/2 acre. Now hardware items like electrical and plumbing parts are in the opposite ends of the megastore from the tools and automotive. I get to walk past all the impulse purchase and houseware items between tools and hardware now. Also, I can still get parts for my '42 Chev project car at NAPA, but the folks at Chinadian Tire just look at me like I'm from Mars. And the folks at NAPA actually know what they're dealing with.

    And, I've had some bad experiences in their automotive "repair" departments. The experience has been variable, depending on the store management. I had a steering wheel replaced on an Aerostar van and it was botched. Another episode was taking a Volvo in for a safety check and towing it away with a blown clutch disk. And there was the time I had my 2000 Mazda pickup worked on and they told me I needed a new A/C pump because it was leaking. The didn't notice that it was belt dressing I had sprayed on the squeaking serpentine belt. Lately I had new struts installed on our '98 Camry, and this included a suspension inspection. 2 weeks later loose bolts needed to be re-tightened and there was still noise. I took the Camry to the Toyota dealer and the verdict was worn upper strut mounts. Henceforth, no mechanical work at Chinadian Tire.

    Anyway, when are they going to put a transit system inside their store to get around (same goes for WallyWorld)

    I did find a decently-sized Chinadian Tire store out in Vancouver, off of Marine Drive. It was small and packed, had everything I was looking for and didn't require an hour's walk to get from one end of the store to another.
  96. Lisa Gibson from Canada writes: Hello, I work in communications at Canadian Tire and I wanted to let you know that I have read through all of the comments that were posted. There were a number of important points made in the posts, things that we will most certainly be taking a closer look at. As you may know, our CEO Stephen Wetmore addressed a number of questions in the Globe and Mail CEO blog earlier today so you may want to refer to it, but please be assured that Stephen cares very much about customer service and is personally chairing a Customer Service Committee to oversee initiatives designed to improve the customer experience at Canadian Tire.
  97. Grampa Canuck from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Hi, Lisa: Can you cut the size of the store in Belleville in half?
  98. R O from PoCo, Canada writes: Crap Tire has become the Air Canada of hardware stores. Poor and I repeat poor service. Customer service is a foreign concept
  99. J M from London, Canada writes: DESKOF REASON from Canada writes: ..."I got the worst customer service of my LIFE from the store manager in Kanata. Ever been sworn at repeatedly by a retail store manager?"...

    Almost. Last summer I had a problem with a child's bike and returned to the store (A Smart Centre on Hyde Park and Fanshawe). I had my two girls with me, and was quite unprepared for the anger and vitriol from the manager. It was as if he was looking for a fight (tense body language, red face). I was calm and polite too: I had my girls with me. He called me a "liar" in front of my kids. Why? How does that help CT's bottom line? Horrible experience.
  100. Deskof Reason from Canada writes: Lisa Gibson, companies are only as good as their leadership. Your CEO must be a pretty bad leader. Your company has extremely poor customer service. I tried to talk to CTC head office two years ago after the Kanata store manager tried to bite my head off for a mistake one of his staff made. The person at head office hung up the phone after taking half my information and never returned the call.

    I cancelled my card, bought my $800 bbq elsewhere next day, stopped going there for weekly sales, and stopped gassing both vehicles there. I DO NOT MISS IT.

  101. Sask Expat from Vancouver, Canada writes: I have to throw in my two cents about Crappy Tire - I just can't help it. My latest Crappy Tire experience was this Saturday. Needed to buy a few bags of potting soil for this spring's gardening bender. Against my husband's good advice to avoid the CT near us and go ANYWHERE else, off I went because I wanted to "save time". Pull into the parking lot of the flashy new CT at Marine and Byrne in Burnaby and spot bags and bags of various potting soil outside the store. Score! I can just grab some, run in, pay for it and leave. So, I pile 4 bags of potting soil into a cart, and wheel myself in the front door, only to be blocked by two turnstiles and a gate. The gate has a sign that says something along the lines of "Ask for assistance to open the gate". Now given they have loads of soil out front, and people wanting to come and buy it, you'd think someone would be paying attention for people coming in with huge bags of soil, wanting a cashier. After about 10 minutes to trying to get some help to open the gate, I abandoned my 4 bags of soil and went over to the local nursery (which is where I should have gone in the first place). Got help picking out the soil, bought 4 bags, and a nice young guy even threw them in the trunk for me. Amazing how they stock product out front, but have no means to let the customer get it in the store in pay for it. Oh and Grampa Canuck from Belleville, ON, Canada, you mentioned the store on Marine in Vancouver...avoid the auto service there like the plague (oil changes are too complex for them to handle).
  102. Bill Smith from Canada writes: I love Canadian tire. The store I shop at has lots of helpfull staff and never any shortage of cashiers on the checkouts. Mastercraft tools are as good as any and prices are better. I haven't shopped that much at Home Depot, but wasn't impressed when I did.
  103. Dick Dupa from Toronto, Canada writes: What Canadian Tires? These stores sell only China made cr---ap.
    Chinese Tires is a more adequate name.
  104. Deskof Reason from Canada writes: Bill, Mastercraft tools are only good as long as you have never used any other kind of tool. Does not matter if you buy a socket or a mitre saw -- they break or stop working between one and three years with light to moderate use.

  105. Stairwayto Heaven from Keswick, Canada writes: Anything that is CT branded is CRAP which usually breaks upon opening the packaging or shortly thereafter and many of the employees are zombieesque.
  106. Dan Thomas from Canada writes: Sask Expat, the Canadian Tire in Dundas Ontario loads the soil into your car for you and has an outdoor till so you don't have to pay inside. Seriously if anyone at Canadian Tire is listening, take a long hard look at how Canadian Tire Dundas is run, it's small but they know what side their bread is buttered on. BTW the earlier "questions", don't make me laugh, the new CEO basically glossed over all the points we wanted him to address.
  107. Bill Smith from Canada writes: "Deskof Reason from Canada writes: Bill, Mastercraft tools are only good as long as you have never used any other kind of tool. Does not matter if you buy a socket or a mitre saw -- they break or stop working between one and three years with light to moderate use."

    Certainly not my experience. I own several of the so called top brand names and find them no better although priced by at least twice as much. Mastercraft has a lower priced line, but I only buy their top line tools. I have a set of CTC sockets I've had for years and are all still in good condition other than the 2 sockets I've lost. By the sound of so many posters here I'm wondering how CTC is still in business. Someone besides me must be buying their products. I'm guessing I could start a board complaining about any other chain and get the same amount of complaints.
  108. Concerned Taxpayer from Canada writes: Lisa Gibson.....thanks for entering the fray. If I can add to my previous post, please tell all your automotive service departments...and I do mean ALL of them, to quit screwing us over. When I come in for an oil change, I'm almost always told I need another $900 worth of brake or suspension work. While there may be a good garage here and there, the many that I've used in numerous cities all seem to have the same thing in common....theivery. This once proud and respected Canadian icon has really taken a dive into the toilet. Please turn it around...start by firing a whole lot of incompetent managers and staff.
  109. Ane from the Wild West from Calgary, Canada writes: I agree with almost all of the comments regarding poor customer service, but the degree really varies from store to store because of the dealer-owned structure. In Calgary the Richmond Road store might be large and a little chaotic, but the staff are great. I went this weekend to buy a Bluetooth that fits over your rear view mirror. The car parts guy DID have to get it out of a locked cabinet and walk it to the till for me, but he talked up the product the whole time. My husband actually went back and bought one for himself just based on this guys recommendation! The rest of the staff are the same, but even they can't do much with too few flyer items in stock and seasonal items that never seem to get replenished. And please don't venture further south - the 'flagship' CT on Macleod Trail is enough to put you off the brand for life. Staff that run away from you like you have H1N1...they actually duck around aisles if you hail one for help. The service people at returns seem to have a contest going to see how many customers they can make cry, and every box looks like it has been used as a punching bag by a disgruntled staff member. Even though I live close, I will travel the extra 20 minutes to Richmond or do without. So don't give up on CT just because one store is bad-there is usually another dealer that values his staff and will happily prosper from anothers mistake.
  110. John S. from Up North, Canada writes: I have to agree with so many of the Posters on here. I used to love shopping at CTC until about 10 years ago. For some reason, prices started to soar and customer service went in the opposite direction. Even the website became more difficult to navigate and find stuff. What happened to those great catalogs that were issued for the various seasons of the year.?
    My favourite store has become my least favourite store. I rarely go to the local CTC anymore. Don't even go there for gas...
    Sold my shares in CTC as well....
    Hopefully changes will be made, positive changes, and bring back the friendly customer service, the seasonal catalogues, and maybe I'll head back there to spend my hard earned money.......
  111. Cape Bretoner from Canada writes: I would much prefer to support a Canadian-owned retailer. But what's with all the "made in China" crap? I won't support CT if it doesn't support more Canadian manufacturers (and no, I'm not in the union, just want to promote buy Canadian).
  112. DON BARTA from Canada writes: -

    - I get really great retail store service from out town's Gibb St. store, excellent return service and good checkout service when they have enough of them open. The store has a lot of more mature sales and stock employees but the new people learn quickly and always go out of their way to help find stuff there or at nearby stores. We seem to be having more problems with product quality lately but questions and returns are handled quickly. With a half a dozen CTC stores nearby I rarely miss out on any bargains if I really have to have it.

    - We never use the CTC stores auto repair shops as we have our own mechanic, but those that do always seem to have a complaint about the work that was done.....

  113. counteri intel from Canada writes:
    Bill Smith from Canada writes: I love Canadian tire. The store I shop at has lots of helpfull staff and never any shortage of cashiers on the checkouts. Mastercraft tools are as good as any and prices are better. I haven't shopped that much at Home Depot, but wasn't impressed when I did.
    Posted 11/05/09 at 3:44 PM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment


    For the odd home use only. Hanging curtains or repairing this or that - fine. I ctually have an old jobmate driver. Works fine ocassionally when I need it.

    Ever owned a Milwakee or a (some), DeWalt tools ? Buy them once and that's it forever.

    The tire's ratchet sets are the most fun. One use and they bust up like soap bubble.

    When you regulate customer service personell to part time stocker body labor at absolute min wage you lose a great source of increased sales. Ultimately what will improve in-store sales is in-store sales ability - just a little please. A little better pay ( bonus ??), and a little better training. (true of most retailers these days). Who is motivated at 9 bucks per and 20 hours a week ?

    Meanwhile the local CT store is enormous. I had to walk a klick to the can on the weekend.
  114. J M from Canada writes: It seems clear that bad customer service is a major reason that people stopped shipping at CTC. As such, I'm pretty sure a CEO from telecom and the airlines will not be able to fix that. Airlines and telecom invented bad customer service.

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