Canadian Tire opens ‘Digital Garage’ lab in Kitchener-Waterloo
This is the second digital innovation lab the iconic Canadian retailer has opened in the region often referred to as "Silicon Valley North"
TORONTO—Canadian Tire Corp., Ltd. (CTC) has opened a new “Digital Garage” in its continued efforts to reinvent itself and develop in-store and online technologies that digitize the retail process.
This is the second digital innovation lab the iconic Canadian retailer has opened in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, an area increasingly referred to as “Silicon Valley North.”
“Becoming a world leader in digitizing the retail experience is a top priority for the company,” said Michael Medline, president and CEO of 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 the Communitech digital research intiative 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.
“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 at CTC.
The company says it 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.