The first Giant Tiger store was opened in 1961 by Gordon Reid. This store was located on George St., in Byward Market and had an investment of $15,000. Despite low sales in its first years, the store was still able to survive.
In 1965, a second Giant Tiger store opened in the area of Brockville. After a few years, Giant Tiger was opened for franchising. The company did this because it wanted to serve more customers by having locally owned Giant Tiger stores. In 1968, the first franchise-owned Giant Tiger stores opened. By 1971, there were six Giant Tiger Stores in the country.
In 1977, the company established a new banner, the “Chez Tante Marie.” Stores under this banner opened in the areas of Gatineau and Hull, Quebec.
Gordon Reid believed that employees would be interested in maximizing the stores’ profits if they were part owners of the company. This is why by 1980, Giant Tiger was owned, not only by Gordon Reid himself, but by 10 important employees, as well.
In 1987, the company introduced its own trucking division, Tiger Trucking. The company’s trucking system made it possible to deliver shipments regularly from the warehouse to all of the Giant Tiger stores. In the succeeding years, Giant Tiger slowly expanded and opened more stores in the country. From starting with one store in 1961, there were 54 Giant stores in the country by 1990.
In 1996, the company bought a 315,000-square foot distribution center in Ottawa. This facility then became the company’s new headquarters. In 1999, as proof of how successful the company has become, it was reported that Giant Tiger trucks were delivering goods to every store three times every week. By 2001, their trucks were making deliveries daily to every Giant Tiger store.
In 2001, The Northwest Company (NWC) and Giant Tiger made an agreement, granting NWC exclusive rights to operate 72 Giant Tigers in the area of western Canada. By 2010, there were 200 Giant Tiger stores in different parts of Canada. Currently, there are 203 Giant Stores in the country.
Headquarters: Ottawa, Ontario
Ownership Type: Private
Employees: More than 7,000
Demography: Retail product consumers
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