Canadian Tire tops list of most reputable companies

Shoppers Drug Mart ranked second on Leger's annual ranking, while Amazon and Walmart took big hits.


Canadian Tire is driving away with the “most reputable company in Canada” designation, while SNC Lavalin and Pfizer saw the biggest increases in reputation scores over the last year.

That’s according to Leger’s 24th annual Reputation survey, which asked 32,000 Canadians in December and January for their feedback on more than 275 brands spanning 29 different sectors. Questions were based around “do you have a good or bad opinion of this brand,” “are you aware of them and know them enough to rate them,” or “do you not know them at all?”

Canadian Tire scored an 80 out of a possible 100 on reputation, beating out runner up Shoppers Drug Mart, at 78. The average score, according to Leger, is only 31. The top ten list of companies, along with their reputation scores, is included below.

Heather Owen, VP of Leger’s Vancouver office, says Canadian Tire grabbed the top slot, because from the first days of the pandemic, it resolved to remain open with an eye on customer and employee safety, with different pick up and delivery options, and that the chain kept pace with the pandemic ensuring DIY products were available to consumers.

Owen says Shoppers Drug Mart was reported by respondents to be credible and authentic, and Canadians continue to love their PC Optimum points, while CPG stalwart Kellogg, maker of popular brands like Frosted Flakes and Pringles, remains a “consistent and familiar” presence.

Not surprisingly, with Canadians hunkered down inside, CPG/food and telco sectors’ reputations were boosted the most (up 2 points), led by Saputo, which gained 7 points. The sector was followed by pharmaceuticals, which gained one in reputation overall.

As noted by Dave Scholz, executive VP at Leger, while SNC Lavalin saw the biggest individual brand reputation spike (with a 12 increase) pharmaceutical brands largely dominated, spurred by vaccines developed by Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Bausch Health, whose scores were up 10, 9 and 9 points, respectively.

Home improvement and craft brands saw their reputation scores go up slightly, and Michaels and DeSerres saw the largest increases in reputation scores for the sector, according to Scholz.

The hospitality industry took a 4-point reputation hit, amidst travel declines, as did the courier/shipping sector, thanks to people’s patience being taxed, and also media, discount stores and entertainment.

The biggest brand reputation declines were Amazon (down 12 points), Walmart (down 11), Subway (down 7), Sobeys (down 7) and CBC (down 7).

Many people ordered their first Amazon product this year, Scholz says, and the stress test came up a bit short. For Walmart, he says there is a large group of people who dislike the retailer regardless of what it does. There was also some resentment over its stores being open, while small businesses were forced to lock down.

Pandemic measures are chipping away at goodwill, but Scholz believes it will bounce back shortly. “Reputation is one of those intangibles… it attracts and keeps talent, builds pride among [the] organization, attracts customers, encourages loyalty, lowers the cost of capital if you’re looking at investors, attracts new investments, and generates positive media coverage, and enhances and builds community support.”

The Top 10 Most Reputable Companies in Canada in 2021 (with reputation scores)

  1. Canadian Tire (80)
  2. Shoppers Drug Mart (78)
  3. Kellogg (75)
  4. Sony (74)
  5. Campbell (73)
  6. Google (72)
  7. Samsung (72)
  8. Interac (71)
  9. YouTube (70)
  10. Dollarama (69)