Canada’s Giant Tiger Helps Keep Grocery Prices Down
The average family of four will spend more than $12,000 on groceries in 2019, according to a new report.
Researchers from the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University have indicated that food prices across the country are climbing. The cost of vegetables are the major influencers, with an expected increase in price between four to six percent, due to the weather and demand.
However, with Canadians reducing meat consumption and an oversupply, the prices of meat will decrease by between one and three percent.
Furthermore, with Giant Tiger Stores Limited, the leading Canadian discount retailer, officially breaking new grounds by announcing a new Ottawa headquarters and flagship store on Walkley Road, the prices of groceries are bound to witness some level of stability.
“Giant Tiger is Canada’s best-kept secret,” said Thomas Haig, President and Chief Operating Officer at the privately-owned company.
The new home office and flagship store are in line with Giant Tiger’s carefully planned growth strategy, which commits to opening 10-15 stores per year across Canada. The company anticipates full construction to start this fall and the new store will open to customers in fall 2020, while the office by mid-winter of 2021.
“Our new home office and flagship store on Walkley Road represents an investment in our future and will help us meet the needs of our expanding store count while delivering even better value to our customers, vendors, and franchisees,” said Haig.
“Ottawa will always be home for Giant Tiger. We opened our first store in the ByWard Market in 1961, and our headquarters have been here on Walkley Road since 1996. We are thrilled to be breaking ground today.”
Giant Tiger stores aim at reducing the prices of groceries by matching prices found at other stores in order to encourage local to shop there. Therefore, if individuals find cheaper options in a flyer or advert, they will match or even beat the price.
For the past few years, Giant Tiger has been working tirelessly on transforming its relatively unpopular image in a bid to constantly stay relevant to customers who need a one-stop-shop for buying household items and groceries.
The company has prioritized the task of reorganizing store layouts just so customers can navigate faster and easier as opposed to rival stores who operate out of warehouse-sized locations that cause customers to walk around almost aimlessly.
“(Our customers) are looking for a simplified shopping experience,” said Karen Sterling, vice-president of marketing at Giant Tiger in a report.
For Giant Tiger, their target customer remains women between the age of 30 to 55 years old, with two kids and who are the “CFO (chief financial officer)” of their respective families—and with the projected increase in grocery price, they would be looking for more value from their purchases.
Furthermore, Sterling noted that customers’ time constraints have motivated the company to include more product selection, which allows them to shop for the necessary items in one location
“The smaller store size is a competitive advantage,” she said.
Along with revamping the look of its stores, the company has also been actively growing its e-commerce presence. Currently, it has about 6,000 products online, with the option of shipping some of them to a local store for pickup or directly to your home.
Retail analyst Sandy Silva, who works with market research firm NPD Group, said that a huge part of Giant Tiger’s success comes from customers who prefer supporting a Canadian business. However, the company can really witness huge success depending on how it handles online shopping.
Because a majority of their customers live in rural areas, this would pose some challenges for the retailer as meeting home delivery times and product availability might be difficult, noted lSilva.
However, one major benefit of online grocery shopping for Canadian during this season would be helping to cut down on impulse purchasing. Since online shoppers typically create a grocery list and search item individually, temptations to purchase additional products—especially sensory ones like perfumes—would be drastically reduced.
“E-commerce is going to be crucial to them,” said Silva.
Grand Tiger’s new home office covers approximately 173,800 square feet and is being built to accommodate growth. The company predicts its home office employee count to increase from 400 to 700 over the next decade, as its expansion plan continues.
However, to keep up with this growth, Giant Tiger recently relocated its distribution centre from Walkley Road to a new facility in Johnstown, Ontario.
The new headquarters—a modern four-story building built to LEED specifications— is primarily glass, with sufficient light and airy spaces including a central atrium. All meeting rooms and workstations will be equipped with the latest technology.
“We want our employees to enjoy coming to work every day, and that’s why we designed the new office to have amenities such as a full floor cafeteria and coffee bar, gym, games room, collaborative spaces, and underground parking,”noted Haig. “We are a people first company and this new building reflects this commitment.”