Giant Tiger has purchased the Wetaskiwin and North Battleford stores from its parent company, The North West Company, which means the stores, which were slated to be closed, will remain open and under direct ownership of Giant Tiger Stores Limited
May 29, Giant Tiger Stores Limited and The North West Company announced they have reached a purchase agreement for two additional Giant Tiger stores, 442 Wetaskiwin in Alberta and 451 North Battleford in Saskatchewan The sale of the additional two stores join a larger purchase agreement from March 12 with NWC in which 34 Giant Tiger stores, and territory rights in Western Canada, were acquired by GTSL. The closing date of the transaction for the 36 Western Canada Giant Tiger stores is set for July 4.
“I’m pleased that stores 442 Wetaskiwin and 451 North Battleford are joining the group of the 34 other Western Canada Giant Tiger stores that we have acquired,” said Paul Wood, President and Chief Operating Officer, Giant Tiger Stores Limited. “These two stores were slated to close under the previous agreement with NWC but will now remain open and I am delighted that the associates at these two locations can join us as Giant Tiger employees and we can keep serving these communities with everyday low prices.”
The Giant Tiger store at the corner of 11th Avenue and 102nd Street held its grand opening ceremonies in May of last year.
Civic officials were counting on the arrival of their latest location as a cornerstone of their ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.
Part of the revitalization effort has included the introduction of downtown tax incentives to spur on development. The Giant Tiger build is one of those to receive an incentive.
The property’s developer CR Developments Inc. applied for and was granted the downtown tax incentive in December 2018 for 100 percent of municipal taxes for the first three years, with 75 per cent abated in year four and 50 per cent in year five. The project value was estimated at $2.5 million.
At the time Mayor Bater justified the incentive by saying it was a “big investment by the city, but it’s also a big investment by this company.”
The new Giant Tiger is located on land once occupied by the infamous building that residents referred to as the “Pigeon Hotel.”
That structure had been a symbol for urban blight in the downtown core before it was demolished in 2015.
The land stood then stood vacant until 2018, when construction began on the new 15,785-square foot retail property.
The new store meant new jobs in the city. A job fair was held in early April and 40 when local staff were hired.
Less than a year after arriving in North Battleford, however, it was announced Giant Tiger was pulling out of the city.
The company’s vice-president for sales and operations Scott McKay stated they would be closing their North Battleford Giant Tiger location by no later than Nov. 1 of this year.
The North West Company Inc. had entered an agreement to sell 34 of its Giant Tiger stores to Giant Tiger Stores Limited. The North West Company expects a pre-tax gain of $20 to $24 million from the sale.
Of the remaining 12 Giant Tiger locations, the North West Company was to retain five northern locations, convert one Giant Tiger in Prince Albert to a Valu-Lots clearance centre, and close the remaining six stores, including North Battleford.
The North Battleford and Wetaskiwin, Alta., stores will remain open and under direct ownership of Giant Tiger Stores Limited,
Giant Tiger is the leading Canadian-owned family discount store providing everyday essentials, family fashion and household needs to communities across Canada. Canadians can shop at over 250 stores and online at gianttiger.com. The privately held company employs over 9,000 team members and operates its own distribution centres and trucking fleet. All Giant Tiger locations are locally owned or operated by a team member who knows the community.
The North West Company is a retailer primarily serving rural communities in Canada, and Alaska as well as islands in the South Pacific and Caribbean. North West’s Northern and NorthMart stores are the largest local private employer of Indigenous people in Canada, with approximately 3,000 employees and an annual payroll exceeding $65 million.