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New faces at Canadian Tire
A Canadian staple in Fernie is set to receive a makeover. The local Canadian Tire was recently taken over by new owners and they have big plans for the home, outdoor, and automotive store.
Angus and Margaret McDonald have been behind the wheel of the Fernie Canadian Tire since the end of March. The husband and wife have been involved with the Canadian retailer for 32 years, owning three other franchises of the company in Ontario over the last 14 years. They jumped at the opportunity to take over the Fernie location and are eager to put their own personal touches on the store.
“I don’t think our job is going to be easy for the next year, but I think the customer will see noticeable improvements,” commented Angus. “It won’t be overnight, it’s going to take time, but I think they will be very pleased when it’s done and it’s going to be a very nice shopping environment.
“There will be a very large store transformation happening, where we will be a little bit more dynamic, have more displays, just a refresh, a bit of a facelift. I think the way that we like to run a store will be better for both the customer and the staff member.”
The couple was welcomed by the store’s current staff and are now on the hunt to hire more in an effort to provide better customer service. No matter how many new hires they make, both Angus and Margaret reinforced they will continue to be available on the floor, actively serving customers themselves.
“It’s nice to meet your neighbour, the neighbour being the people of Fernie,” remarked Margaret. “I’m a chit-chatter so I love to meet people in the store and create a relationship with them.”
She went on to say, “With Canadian Tire being a franchise, every Canadian Tire store across Canada is individually owned, so Angus and I and our daughter, we live here in town, so we can make our own decisions here at the store. We do follow Canadian Tire policy, but we do have the ability to work with the community and work with customers. We are very hands on because we are on the floor. Even though it’s a massive conglomerate, we’re still a ma and pa shop.”
With his countless years of experience, Angus is always ready to help out shoppers. “I have been doing this since I was 17 years old,” he remarked. “I’m a hands on guy, I’m a fix it guy, what we sell here is what I love to do. I love working on cars, I love home improvements, so I live and breathe the product here.”
Angus admits that the Fernie location doesn’t come without its challenges. “It’s definitely different out here, shopping habits are different, and the customers are different because of the tourism industry,” he said. “We’re bringing in a lot of people that aren’t residents, and then you have the part-time people that come in here who have second homes in Fernie. It’s somewhat transient, because you have a lot of people travelling through, so there are challenges with that, but there are also benefits of that too.”
They certainly have their work cut out for them, but Angus and Margaret believe that the Fernie Canadian Tire will be their fourth and final store. “I’m pretty confident that this is it. It’s got the business that we love to do and it’s got the town that’s gorgeous and beautiful to live in, with lots of recreational activities,” shared Angus. “I don’t know yet if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but we’re here for the long run.”
The next time you find yourself at Canadian Tire stocking up on household supplies, getting ready for a camping trip, or tuning up your vehicle, be sure to stop and say hi to Angus and Margaret.