Giant Tiger launches a loyalty program

As the discount retailer continues to expand, it turns its attention to learning more about how its customers shop.

Discount retailer Giant Tiger is launching its first loyalty program across Ontario as it continues with an expansion plan.

Called GT VIP, the program is available through Giant Tiger’s mobile app, giving users the ability to load deals on a weekly basis. The deals offer discounts on groceries, fashion and home products, and are automatically applied when a barcode is scanned at checkout in its 177 locations in Ontario. Those discounts are applied on top of those already available through Giant Tiger’s weekly flyer, which can also be accessed through the app along with online shopping capabilities.

The app also gives members the ability to participate in exclusive contests and access perks through partners. During the pilot phase of the program in Ottawa, for example, members received a discount on tickets for the Ottawa Fury professional soccer team and Ottawa 67s junior hockey team.

The program was first piloted at 23 Giant Tiger locations in Ottawa in April. The retailer plans to begin rolling out the program to all of its Canadian stores – which currently number 257 – in early 2020.

Paul Wood, president and COO of Giant Tiger Stores, said in an announcement that as the retailer continues with its growth plans, GT VIP “aims at deepening our understanding of our customers and their engagement in our stores and online.” Cindy-Lynn Steele, SVP of corporate strategy and marketing, added that the program tapped into Canadians’ affinity for loyalty programs.

A spokesperson for Giant Tiger said the company will not use purchase data to customize the deals offered through the app, which will be the same for every member, though it will take regional differences into account when it expands to other parts of the country.

Giant Tiger has been on an expansion spree since 2015, when Target withdrew from the Canadian market and the company took advantage of the real estate opportunity. It now has plans to add between 10 to 15 new locally owned stores per year to its network, even as other banners in the discount retail category expand as well. Dollarama now has more than 1,300 stores across Canada, and international retailers are pushing into the market, like China’s Miniso, which plans to reach 500 locations by 2021.