Canadian Tire unveils new 'small market store concept' designed specifically for rural markets



    TORONTO, July 17 /CNW/ - Canadian Tire opened the doors of its first two
small market stores today with the grand opening of its store in Hearst, ON
and the soft opening in Deep River, ON. The two new stores are the first of
four test locations planned for 2008 and include an 18,000 square foot
Canadian Tire store, 5,300 square foot Mark's Work Wearhouse offering, a 7,000
square foot Garden Centre, 13,000 Outdoor Compound and when complete, an
onsite Canadian Tire Gas Bar.
    With two stores now open and another two scheduled to open in Athabasca
and Cochrane this fall, the small market store is designed to provide
customers in smaller towns with a one-stop shopping experience. Ranging from
14,000 to 18,000 square feet, the new small stores are anchored by Canadian
Tire's key cornerstone businesses - automotive, hardware, home, sports and
seasonal - and feature a full size Mark's offering and on-site gas bar, where
possible.
    "We have identified approximately 100 communities across Canada that we
believe to be potential sites for this concept," says Mike Arnett, president,
Canadian Tire Retail. "By leveraging the strengths of our interrelated
businesses, we are able to bring this new concept to these markets enabling
customers in small towns to get everything they need for their car, home and
leisure activities conveniently under one roof."
    The new small market stores will replace traditional Canadian Tire stores
or will be incremental new stores enabling the company to serve even more of
the Canadian population. Each of these cost-effective stores is expected to
generate $5-9 million annually.

    
    Summary of major features of the new small market stores:
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    -   Navigational signage - Upon entering the store, the navigational and
        departmental signs immediately identify Canadian Tire's key
        cornerstone businesses - automotive, home, hardware, sports and
        seasonal. With fewer touch n' feel displays, the breadth of the
        product assortment has been expanded to include more than 30,000
        products on the retail floor.

    -   Customer Care - Located conveniently at the front of the store, the
        Customer Care counter is easily accessible for customers requiring
        assistance and also offers products and services that are relevant to
        each market such as snowmobile trail passes and hunting and fishing
        licenses. Customers are also able to access products not found in-
        store through special order services.

    -   Seasonal - The seasonal department is located at the front of the
        store and offers customers a dominant assortment of products to help
        customers start each season with confidence. In the spring/summer the
        area features barbecues and outdoor living items, while in the winter
        customers can find a large selection of Christmas décor and winter-
        related items.

    -   Garden Centre/Outdoor Marketplace- With just over 7,000 retail square
        feet, this area is covered with a canopy and serves as a Garden
        Centre in the spring/summer months and an Outdoor Marketplace in the
        fall/winter. This area houses bulkier items as well as gardening
        products in the spring/summer and shovels, rock salt and snow blowers
        in the winter.

    -   Outdoor Compound - The 13,000 square foot Outdoor Compound provides
        additional retail space for large items and live goods. Displays of
        swing sets, sheds, wheelbarrows and kayaks are found in this area
        along with a large assortment of live goods and bagged soils and
        fertilizers.

    -   Automotive - Canadian Tire continues to emphasize its dominant
        assortment of automotive parts and accessories. In addition to an
        impressive tire wall tailored to the local market, the automotive
        department also features a wide selection of parts and accessories
        and a 4-bay Automotive Service Centre offering motorists the latest
        in diagnostic equipment to help them get back on the road safely and
        easily.

    -   Tools, Paint and Hardware - With everything from plumbing and
        electrical to tools and paint, the new store features everything
        customers need to complete weekend projects with confidence.

    -   Mark's Work Wearhouse - Featuring two great Canadian brands under one
        roof, the small market store features a full-size Mark's store within
        the Canadian Tire store. The 5,300 square foot Mark's offering is
        beautifully laid out and includes the latest product offering in work
        and casual apparel and footwear for men and women.
    

    To obtain login information for a virtual tour of the new small market
store, please email broadcast@newswire.ca

    Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTR.NV, CTR), Canada's
most-shopped general merchandise retailer, operates more than 1,170 stores,
gas bars and car washes in an inter-related network of businesses engaged in
retail, financial services and petroleum. Canadian Tire Retail, with 473
stores operated by Dealers across Canada offers a unique mix of products and
services through three specialty categories in which the organization is the
market leader - automotive, sports and leisure, and home products.
www.canadiantire.ca offers Canadians the opportunity to shop online.
PartSource is an automotive parts specialty chain with 74 stores designed to
meet the needs of professional automotive installers and serious
do-it-yourselfers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of the country's largest and
most productive independent retailers of gasoline, operating 266 gas bars, 259
convenience stores and kiosks, and 74 car washes. Mark's Work Wearhouse is one
of the country's leading apparel retailers operating 360 stores in Canada.
Under the Clothes that Work(TM) marketing strategy, Mark's sells apparel and
footwear in work, work-related, casual and active-wear categories, as well as
health-care and business-to-business apparel. www.marks.com offers Canadians
the opportunity to shop online. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages over
4.0 million Canadian Tire MasterCard accounts and markets related financial
products and services for retail and petroleum customers. Canadians can also
access Financial Services online at www.ctfs.com. More than 57,000 Canadians
work across Canadian Tire's organization from coast-to-coast in the
enterprise's retail, financial services, and petroleum businesses.





For further information:

For further information: Lisa Gibson, Canadian Tire, (416) 544-7655,
lisa.gibson@cantire.com

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