Canadian Tire Wants to Think Like a Startup, Joins Communitech

Most startups want to become big companies. It’s not often that big companies want to become startups.

Or at least think like startups. That’s the case for Canadian Tire, whose chief technology officer believes that succeeding in the digital future of retail means adapting its mentality.

Eugene Roman says that the Canadian retailer has inked a deal with Communitech, a startup incubator in Waterloo. There are five Canadian Tire employees at Communitech on a permanent basis, creating what Eugene described to the Financial Post as “a two-way dialogue around new possibilities.”

Canadian Tire is nearly a century old, but like many old growths, is finding adapting to the internet era more difficult than expected. So far, the results of its efforts has been abysmal, but as Communitech points out, the fact that a non-technology retailer is forging a strategic partnership with a technology startup incubator is strong evidence that Canadian Tire is finally getting serious about digital innovation.

Photo: Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press