Thursday, October 12, 2006
The pilot markets selected for the product launch are Calgary, Alberta and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. Multiple channels will be used to promote the products including television, outdoor billboards, online, Canadian Tire flyers, direct mail and in-store promotion.
"The pilot we have launched today will explore the potential to leverage our strengths and grow our business by deepening our customer relationships with new value-added products. Our pilot has been structured in a comprehensive manner but as we always do when introducing new products to the marketplace, we will test and learn over a period of time in a measured fashion, potentially adding additional financial products in the first half of 2007 as part of the pilot," said Marco Marrone, president, Canadian Tire Financial Services.
"Canadian Tire has unique and privileged relationships with consumers across Canada. In particular, our research demonstrates that we enjoy high levels of confidence and trust from the customers of our financial services products. Canadian Tire Financial Services currently has a relationship with approximately four million customers through our Canadian Tire MasterCard(R) franchise and our insurance and personal loan products. Our research indicates a strong opportunity for us to expand our financial services portfolio and our customer base," added Marrone.
Proprietary company research demonstrates Canadians consistently rate Canadian Tire higher than traditional financial services organizations across a range of attributes including friendliness, trustworthiness and caring. The Company's new products will feature the brand positioning: Be nice to your money. Great rates. No monthly fees. And bonus electronic Canadian Tire 'money' gift cards.
The new financial products will be provided by Canadian Tire Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTFS).
"We are uniquely positioned to meet targeted financial needs of Canadians because of our retail scale, customer relationships, credit management capabilities and trust in our brand. We also know that Canadians are pre-disposed to alternative options for their financial services and products, and believe there is a significant potential market opportunity to explore," said Marrone.
Canadian Tire Financial Services' earnings growth over the last half of the year will be impacted by expenses of approximately $10.2 million to support the retail banking initiative, the majority of which will be incurred in the fourth quarter. Retail banking capital and expenses have been incorporated in the Company's 2006 capital plan and earnings guidance.
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTC, CTC.a), operates an inter-related network of businesses engaged in retail, financial services and petroleum. The Company operates more than 1,100 stores, gas bars and car washes, including the country's most-shopped general merchandise retailer.
Canadian Tire Financial Services manages approximately 4 million Canadian Tire MasterCard(R) accounts and markets related financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers. More than 50,000 Canadians work across Canadian Tire's organization from coast-to-coast in the enterprise's retail, financial services, and petroleum businesses.
For further information: Scott Bonikowsky, Divisional VP, Corporate Communication & Investor Relations, (416) 480-8570, firstname.lastname@example.org
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