January 23, 2009, 12:00 AM

CanadianTire.ca puts the brakes on home deliveries

Although CanadianTire.ca is upgrading its site with product search features to support cross-channel shopping, starting Jan. 29 it will no longer offer home delivery of products ordered online.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. is planning a new role for its general merchandise e-commerce site CanadianTire.ca. Although the site is being upgraded with product search features to support cross-channel shopping, starting Jan. 29 it no longer will offer home delivery of products ordered online.

“Because our site is primarily used for research and product comparison, CanadianTire.ca has decided to discontinue selling products online for home delivery,” the retailer says in an online message linked from its home page. The site will continue to offer delivery services for gift cards ordered online, however.

The change in fulfillment strategy comes while Canadian Tire is continuing to upgrade the e-commerce site. This spring, for example, it plans to begin offering in-store pick-up of online orders in selected test markets, it says. Canadian Tire has about 473 company- and dealer-operated Canadian Tire retail stores throughout Canada, selling products ranging from home furnishings and sports equipment to automobile parts.

In the past year, the retailer has added more product information to CanadianTire.ca to help shoppers decide what to buy, and it plans to continue refining site navigation to make it easier and faster to browse the site and search for products. “The site will also look a little different, with bigger, more descriptive pictures and even better product information,” the retailer says.

In addition, Canadian Tire has recently deployed assistive technology from Essential Accessibility Inc. that is designed to help disabled people navigate its web pages even if they can`t use a computer mouse or keyboard in the conventional way.

Canadian Tire, which has nearly 1,200 stores overall, also operates the retail chains Mark’s Work Wearhouse, which sells apparel, and PartSource, a specialty auto parts retailer. The company has not announced any plans to discontinue home delivery services for orders placed through these chains’ respective e-commerce sites, Marks.com and PartSource.ca.

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