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APRIL 2016
The Canadian Business Journal
volume discounted merchandise, and that’s
how we started,” Haig says. “He felt that the
franchise model benefitted, not only what he
was trying to do, but also the store manager,
because local store managers understood the
community they were in because they were
part of that community.”
When Wal-Mart entered the Canadian retail
market in 1994, Giant Tiger had approximately
$220 million in annual sales and 63 stores.
Since then, it has almost tripled its stores and
increased sales to $1.3 billion. Much of Giant
Tiger’s growth has resulted from a deal in 2000
with the North West Co., which allowed the
Winnipeg company exclusive rights to open
franchised Giant Tiger stores in western Canada.
Stores That Serve
Individual Communities
Since the 1960s, Giant Tiger has primarily used a
franchise model that involves recruiting experi-
enced managers, and allowing them to operate a
corporate store and then financing them to turn
the store into a franchise which the manager
would own. It is a model that is used in a majority
of its stores.
Giant Tiger learned early on that its strat-
egy of setting up stores in small communities
or neighbourhood stores in bigger cities was
the most profitable approach. This is because,
as Haig explains, the store owners have a close
connection with their communities and under-
stand the customer demand in that area. The
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