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5
APRIL 2016
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The Canadian Business Journal
In a recent interview with
The Canadian
Business Journal
, President and COO Thomas
Haig says the key to Giant Tiger’s success has
been its customer focus, franchise model, and
long-term store owners who are in touch with
the communities in which they operate.
“Our franchise owners live and breathe the
community,” explains Haig, a former execu-
tive with Zellers and Danier Leather. “Unlike,
let’s say other retail organizations that might
change store managers every few years, we
don’t. We have store managers who have
been in that community for 25 or 30 years,
and understand the needs of their neighbour-
hoods.”
A Thriving Market for
Discount Stores in
Canada
Established in 1961 in Ottawa, Giant Tiger has
more than 7,000 employees at over 200 locally
owned and operated stores across Canada. In
the mid and late 1950s, Giant Tiger founder
Gordon Reid was a travelling salesman for a
retailer in the United States. During this time,
he encountered discount stores, which were,
back then, a new concept. Discount stores did
not yet exist in Canada, and Reid jumped on
the opportunity to import the idea.
“Fifty-five years ago, (Mr. Reid) felt like
there was a niche in the marketplace for
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