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Entrepreneur Week Giant Tiger’s business philosophy focuses on customer satisfaction, community involvement President says company’s model is one for entrepreneurs to emulate Staff

Community - Since the first Giant Tiger store opened its doors in Ottawa’s ByWard Market in 1961, every step taken has been done with the customer in mind, the company’s president says. By the end of August this year, the company will have 207 stores in communities across Canada, including six new stores. “Our goal is certainly to add store count and continue to grow because we think there’s a lot of markets yet that we’re not in that we think we should be in,” said Greg Farrell, Giant Tiger president and chief operating officer, adding the company regularly receives feedback from customers who would like to see Giant Tiger stores open in their cities. For that reason, Giant Tiger’s business model is one that entrepreneurs can learn from when it comes to achieving success in delivering outstanding customer service and creating an ideal working environment for employees. A key feature of the privately held Canadian company’s business model is profit sharing for the more than 2,000 employees, including at warehouses, franchise stores, the trucking division and home office, which is located at 2480 Walkley Rd. in Ottawa. It encourages those within the Giant Tiger family to work harder and longer for the customers they serve, said Farrell. “Everyone contributes to the success, and everyone, thereby, should share in the success,” he added. That success is reliant on delivering quality products, from fashion and groceries to everyday supplies, at low prices to customers. “Everything is about reducing the cost to get the product onto the shelf and into the customers’ hands. That’s number

one and number two we will never be beat on price,” said Farrell. Giant Tiger’s customers appreciate the company’s many guarantees from providing rainchecks and accepting coupons to offering a satisfaction guarantee, a no-hassle refund policy, which includes no time limits on refunds, as well as price clawbacks and an ad-match guarantee. “The customer has to trust us that we have the best price,” Farrell said. Giant Tiger stores also offer convenience by offering friendly store layouts and accessible parking. The company also strives to deliver affordable fashions for the entire family. “We will match Target’s quality and style but beat them on price,” said Farrell, a Stittsville resident. “We will match Walmart’s price, but beat them on style.” Given the highly completive retail industry, the company’s management team and franchise store owners have built a solid name in a highpressure industry. “It’s all about trying to give confidence to our customer,” Farrell said. His advice to up-andcoming entrepreneurs also includes being clear on your competitive advantage and differentiating your business in the marketplace. “You also have to be willing and able to change and innovate,” he said, adding that the company also maintains its edge by keeping a close watch on competitors. Giant Tiger is also proudly Canadian. Today, there are fewer Canadian companies in the rapidly changing retail sector. “There’s a lot that have gone by the wayside, a couple of regional players that are in bankruptcy protection,” said Farrell. The company also prides itself in giving back to communities. “We have three brand pillars as to how we run our business, and one of them is being connected to our communities, and we think that’s really important,” he said, adding that the ways the company helps range from providing for families in need to supporting local hospital foundations and food banks. Each year, the company donates more than $2 million

76 Stittsville News EMC - Thursday, June 5, 2014

Greg Farrell, president and chief operating officer of Giant Tiger Stores Ltd., says the privately held Canadian company’s business model is one that entrepreneurs can find success in emulating.

Giant Tiger Stores remain committed to serving the community, not only by delivering quality products for low prices to consumers, but also by supporting charitable causes. Giant Tiger president and Stittsville resident Greg Farrell was the first to purchase a hat in support of the company’s support for the Soldier On Afghanistan Relay team, which travelled from Trenton, Ont. to Parliament Hill in early May. to charities and organizations across the country. Most recently, eight stores organized free barbecues during the Soldier On Afghanistan Relay in early May that saw wounded personnel travel from Trenton,

PHOTOS COURTESY GIANT TIGER STORES LTD.

Rachel Kerr, a Giant Tiger public relations and community activation associate, and Neal Campbell, owner of Giant Tiger Stittsville, serve free Giant Tiger hotdogs at the Kanata branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in early May. The initiative was in support of the Soldier On Afghanistan Relay team, which travelled from Trenton, Ont. to Parliament Hill.

Ont. to Parliament Hill. Giant Tiger staff also sold official Soldier On merchandise during the five-day event with proceeds going to the charitable program. “They’re right there in the community rolling up their

sleeves and they’re very visible, doing what needed to be done to make a difference, in order to make their communities stronger,” said Alison Scarlett, Giant Tiger manager of public relations and community activation.

“Giving back is not just something we do, at Giant Tiger it is who we are.” For additional information on Giant Tiger, please go online to gianttiger.com, and visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

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