Giant Tiger flyer Stores Limited is a discount retail business based in Canada with approximately 260 locations. In Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan, the company’s shops are known as Giant Tiger; in Ontario, they are known as GTExpress and Scott’s Discount; and in Quebec, they are known as Tigre Géant.
The business employs over 10,000 people and has yearly revenues of about $2 billion as of 2021. The company’s headquarters are on Walkley Road in Ottawa. In 2018, the firm established a 600,000-square-foot (55,742 m2) distribution center in Johnstown, Ontario, near the crossroads of Highways 401 and 416, midway between Montreal and Toronto.
It is a signatory to the Retail Council of Canada’s voluntary Scanner Price Accuracy Code.
Gordon Reid, the originator of Giant Tiger flyers, was a traveling salesman for an importer in the United States in the mid and late 1940s while he was in his early twenties. Reid first encountered bargain shops in the Midwest of the United States. At the time, discount shops were a novel notion. Uncle Bill’s, a franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio, was one of his customers, and he was extremely pleased. The notion of a discount shop did not yet exist in Canada, thus it created a commercial opportunity.
Reid claims he was also motivated by Frank Woolworth’s continent-wide success in opening hundreds of lucrative Five-and-Dime shops half a century earlier. Reid had worked in department shops rather than bargain stores since his first job as a youngster, although his mother had worked behind the luncheon counter at a Woolworth’s in downtown Montreal.
Four decades later, Reid claimed that he felt it was conceivable to establish a Canada-wide network based on this approach even at this early stage. When asked by a reporter whether he ever believed Giant Tiger would achieve the kind of popularity it did at the time, Reid said, “Yes, indeed. That was the plan all along. When I was a traveling salesperson, I had the concept for the company. I saw a rise in discounters. The F.W. Woolworth Co. was my primary inspiration, and it was clearly a large business. As a result, this has always been the plan.”
Structure of ownership
Giant Tiger weekly flyer Stores Limited’s key executives are also co-owners. Giant Tiger’s headquarters were initially fairly modest, and ownership was therefore distributed among a limited group of individuals. Reid and eleven senior workers shared ownership of the company by 1980. Gordon Reid has indicated that the agricultural cooperative movement in Canada inspired him to come up with this idea. Making his staff part-owners of the firm insured that, similar to the cooperative movement, everyone had a shared goal in boosting profits.
Giant Tiger #1 was a company-owned franchise system that debuted in 1961 in Ottawa’s famous Byward Market. Jean-Guy Desjardins launched the first franchised Giant Tiger in Maniwaki in 1968. From the time the adjustment was made, as Reid would explain forty years later, “I didn’t have to do anything because the [Maniwaki] business earned money. [Jean-Guy Desjardins] was in charge of the advertising, the location, the products, and everything else… ‘By golly, that’s a terrific method,’ I thought.”
Individual store managers are given significant discretion in ordering choices and are allowed to dedicate their limited floor space to products that sell well in their local market since the chain was sometimes shoehorned into existing premises now too small for the larger big-box store or hypermarket chains. This flexibility, along with a daily restocking mechanism, enables retailers to “draw” exactly the merchandise they need right now, allowing for higher turnover per square foot of limited retail space.
Reid reported in 2010 that experienced merchants were being given free franchises “It was a fantastic method to find individuals with relevant expertise. We received a lot of merchandise from Woolworth, Kresge, Kmart, and ultimately Zellers throughout the years.” In the same interview, Reid said that over twenty Giant Tiger flyer franchisees are now owned by former Walmart workers, the majority of whom were drawn to the same franchise concept that he had pioneered decades before.