Lindsay Ullathorne, the current owner (dealer) of the Martensville Canadian Tire began operating out of this location in September, and has not wasted any time getting down to business. Beginning next week, construction will begin on a major expansion project for the local store, increasing the retail space from 30,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet, along with numerous other changes.
Ullathorne, who still currently owns two other Canadian Tire locations in southern Alberta, decided that Martensville was a great opportunity for her to come in and put her stamp on the store. The Martensville Canadian Tire marks the third location that Ullathorne has owned over the past ten years; however, she has been a part of Canadian Tire for almost 30 years and worked in a wide range of locations and departments throughout that time.
“I love a challenge and was excited to see what I could do with a new environment. I am super excited to get to grow the store, and bring more opportunity to the people of Martensville and surrounding areas,” Ullathorne said. “I kind of grew up in Saskatoon because my dad, who was also a dealer, ran the Confederation Park store when I was in high school. It feels a lot like coming home and it is just nice to see familiar faces and to be back in a community that is so happy to have us and has so much potential for growth.”
Construction will begin with the south wall, where the garden centre is located, being removed, as the expansion will build out in that direction. During construction, the retail store will continue to operate as usual and will remain open the entire time.
“There will be work done on the entrances at some point, which will probably be the biggest frustration for the shoppers, but like any construction project, we all have to live through a little misery to get something beautiful in the end and we will do our best to ensure customers are impacted as little as possible,” Ullathorne explained.
In July of 2024, the new area will begin to have shelves stocked, with plans to host a grand re-opening celebration in October or November of next year.
Along with the retail expansion, there will also be a dedicated E-commerce pick-up location, a new and improved garden centre, expanded warehouse, technology upgrades, interior and exterior paint, along with numerous other updates throughout the store. Ullathorne also noted that there will be more room for displays, and the available items in-store will be more extensive.
Once complete, the store will be much more technology focused, which will include electronic shelf labels and a ‘scan and buy’ program which will make purchasing large items located within the warehouse a much easier experience for customers.
“Essentially, there will be a tablet parked in front of a section that the customer can use to request the item. From there, a staff member will be notified and the customer can continue with their shopping. Once the item is ready, a notification will be sent to the customer’s phone. The electronic shelf labels are a game changer for us and for our customers. It is a huge labour effort to constantly be changing prices, so to have them done electronically cuts down on human error and allows staff to be available for other things. Additionally, if a customer is looking for a specific item, you can utilize the app to help find it and the label will blink in the aisle to help you locate it quicker and easier, which is really useful when looking for items such as plumbing fittings or nuts & bolts.”
The Martensville Canadian Tire location first opened in 2015 and currently employs approximately 70 people. Once the expansion is complete, Ullathorne estimates that number will grow to around 90.