Canadian Tire Opens Digital Garage in Communitech

Canadian Tire has opened the doors of its new ‘Digital Garage’.

The new purpose built facility is the second digital innovation lab for Canadian Tire, situated near its Communitech lab in Kitchener-Waterloo.

The lab will allow the company’s top digital innovators to develop new in-store and online technologies at a faster pace to support Canadian Tire’s journey of redefining how to be a world leader in the digitization of retail.

“Becoming a world leader in digitizing the retail experience is a top priority for the Company,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation.

“To be a world-class retailer, we are building a strong foundation and implementing the right resources that will successfully take us from the old world to the new. In the Digital Garage, we will create and test cutting-edge software, products and apps in our own environment to take innovation at CTC to the next level.”

Canadian Tire has long been an active member of the Kitchener-Waterloo community and became the first retail partner in Communitech in 2013. The additional space afforded by the Digital Garage gives Canadian Tire’s innovation team a new digital sandbox and tools to further develop innovative applications.

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“Our team of developers is transforming our digital process to be more nimble – what used to take months to design and develop we now do in days and weeks. This allows us to bring new apps and software to the market sooner and with many added features on first release,” said Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Canadian Tire Corporation.

“We are working with some of the best digital talent in Canada – people who have grown up digital and who spark new ideas and online capability. Our first lab at Communitech is now two years old and has helped unlock new opportunities to connect with our customers to make the shopping more fun and interesting.”

The company is three years into a total digital transformation with a complete rethink of what technology means to the business – CTC has made a number of significant investments in agile technology solutions to advance its digital strategy, improve store operations and digitally power customer and employee interactions.

In 2014, Canadian Tire launched its new digital loyalty program, My Canadian Tire ‘Money’ and opened its state-of-the-art Cloud Nine Digital Innovation Centre in Winnipeg to deliver greater digital services to customers, suppliers, employees and partners.