A couple weeks ago I was in my local Canadian Tire buying this and that, and when I checked out, they didn’t give me any Canadian Tire Money. Instead, the cashier suggested I sign up for a loyalty card, so I could earn electronic points. No no no no no no no no, I said, no more cards. I’m not signing up for anything.
Readers not from Canada won’t know what I’m talking about, so I should explain. Canadian Tire has long maintained its own currency known as Canadian Tire Money. When you buy stuff, you earn some Canadian Tire cash you can use next time you shop. Some people save it up and use it for larger purchases later. It has been such an institution, I once told my friend Stagg from Chicago, that having Canadian Tire Money in your wallet is proof of being a genuine Canadian. As we met various friends during one of his visits to Toronto I asked them to produce some Canadian Tire Money, and without exception, all our friends had some kicking around.
Yesterday I was back in Canadian Tire, and at the cash, I was asked if I wanted any Canadian Tire Money. Oh yes yes yes, said I. I thought you folks were phasing it out. How’s that working for you? Not so well, he said. It seems people like Canadian Tire Money. Indeed.
I know they must have a highly paid corporate executive team who made the decision to trash the Canadian Tire Money, and who now are waffling. I’m sure they were trying to get into the heads of that lovable generation known as The Millennials. I’m sure they thought, it’s a digital generation, Millennials don’t want no stinking Canadian Tire Money. It’s an old idea. Out with the old, in with the new, that’s what they were thinking. Let’s be a store for the future. Millennials like loyalty cards. Let’s give them loyalty cards.
I think those highly paid corporate executives missed the boat on this one. They found the one thing that differentiates them from the competition and decided to get rid of it. What do I know? I was like a round peg trying to fit in a square hole in the corporate world at the best of times. However, if I was the King of Canadian Tire, I would try to turn the one thing that made my company different into a competitive advantage, and really play it up instead of trashing it.
Speaking of trying to figure out Millennials, there are news reports this morning that Ron Maclean may be replacing Strombo on hockey broadcasts. What was old is new again I suppose. I’m not much of a hockey fan, and it doesn’t really matter to me who does the broadcasts (although Coaches Corner has become somewhat of a self-parody, hasn’t it….maybe it’s time for whatshisname with the goofy suits to retire), but I will say I find the “look” of hockey broadcasts, with guys standing around on backlit floors in slim-fit suits is kind of bizarre. Do you care who is on the hockey broadcasts?