Canadian Tire opens new digital innovation lab

The Kitchener-Waterloo lab is part of what the retailer says is its ongoing digital transformation.
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Canadian Tire has opened a new “Digital Garage” in Kitchener-Waterloo in Ontario, an innovation lab where it can develop new in-store and online technology.

The new lab is the second in that area for the retailer, which also has partnered with the Communitech lab there for the past two years, reflecting its priority to make the brand a “world leader in digitizing the retail experience,” Michael Medline, president and CEO of the corporation, said in a press release. The new “Digital Garage” will be a creation and testing ground for software, products and apps for the retailer.

“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,” Eugene Roman, Canadian Tire’s chief technology officer, added in the release. “This allows us to bring new apps and software to the market sooner and with many added features on first release.”

For the past three years, the retailer has been focused on a digital transformation, including launching a digital loyalty program and opening its Cloud Nine Digital Innovation Centre (its data centre) in Winnipeg. In the coming weeks, the company will also open its first “Showcase Store” in Edmonton, which is says will provide “a unique retail environment, an expanded assortment and dynamic digital experiences.”