January 20, 2009

Canadian Tire to cease online sales

Big-box retailer Canadian Tire announced it will discontinue online shopping and delivery of products at the end of the month.

From its Toronto head office, the company said after eight years, the online service was unprofitable and users were mostly using the site for availability and product research, the Financial Post reported.

Retail industry analyst Richard Talbot told the newspaper the move made sense, considering Canadian Tire has more than 450 retail stores across the country and 85 percent of Canadians live within a 15-minute drive of one of them.

Company spokeswoman Lisa Gibson cited two factors in the decision to end the service Jan. 29. She said too much money was being spent on third-party fill and ship orders, along with the expense of maintaining a separate warehouse for online orders.

However, the company will still allow for online purchases of gift certificates and in spring will test select markets allowing customers to order and pay for goods and pick them up at the nearest store, the report said.