By Charlie Senack
The biggest Canadian Tire store in the country has just opened in Carlingwood, and it aims to give consumers a state-of-the-art shopping experience.
Doors to the 135,000 sq. ft. megastore opened on Sept. 22 in the former Sears location which was torn down in 2019. Jason Kane, Canadian Tire vice-president of store planning and design, said the “clean and modern design” space was created to celebrate their 100th anniversary in business.
“This remarkable retail concept that we opened in Carlingwood not only features a significantly broad assortment (of goods) across our whole host of categories, but what our customers will also see is a real investment in enhanced infrastructure throughout the store,” he said.
The store has two floors and spans 7,200 feet, around as long as 36 NHL hockey rinks.
Kane said the Carlingwood Canadian Tire has a six-car-canopy Customer Pick Up area at the rear of the store where customers can pick up their online purchases. It’s also home to the country’s second largest Canadian Tire warehouse, which could hold up to 10,552 tires. That many tires would be taller than three CN Towers combined.
The auto department has 26 bays, a nine-car drive-in area, and a wide range of the latest and greatest automotive equipment.
The store also has a year-round garden centre that can adapt to all seasons. The greenhouse-like structure at the front of the store will include a wide range of perennials during the spring months and annuals year round. When planting is out of season, the structure will instead feature outdoor harvest and Halloween decorations, as well as costumes.
One third of the upstairs floor is currently dedicated to Christmas decorations. It will alternate its use around every six months.
“As we go into the fall season you will see a real presentation of Christmas and all of the outdoor decor categories that are associated with that,” said Kane. “Then in the spring it will transform into a really great display of all our patio furniture and barbecues.”
Shoppers who entered the store were visibly in awe of its large scale and size.
Doreen Oliver, who was out shopping with her daughter, said it’s well organized and easy to find items.
“The store is beautiful. I think it’s fantastic for younger people,” said Oliver, who was looking to buy a stew pot, flashlight and water bottle.
“I am kind of old so I don’t get through here too well. I probably won’t see the whole thing; it would take me a couple of days,” she joked.
Stephanie Rodrigue, who was looking for Halloween decorations and leaf bags, said the new Canadian Tire location offers a better selection than other stores.
“It helps people shop more in store than going online,” she said. “Everything from online is here and you can actually see what they have.”
Canadian Tire currently has nine locations in Ottawa, and Kane says their business model will always include various shapes and sizes of stores depending on their location.
Because of the new store, the Canadian Tire further east on Carling near Clyde has closed. Future plans for the former department store have not yet been released.
“Ottawa is a fantastic market for Canadian Tire. It has a strong and stable economy in general,” he said. “We are immensely pleased with customers and their response. I have never seen so many people come through one of our stores in the first few days. We are going to work hard every day to serve the customers in the best way possible.”
With files by Zenith Wolfe