Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Tire Dreams of Wintry Weather to Help Boost Seasonal Sales

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Tire Dreams of Wintry Weather to Help Boost Seasonal Sales

Article excerpt

Canadian Tire dreams of a wintry weather


TORONTO - Many Canadians may dread the thought, but Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. is hoping wintry weather will soon blanket the entire country to help it sell enough snow blowers, winter tires and other seasonal items to surpass strong sales a year ago.

The Canadian hardware retailer needs a boost in sales during the crucial fourth-quarter holiday shopping period to beat last year's earnings after reporting a dip in third-quarter profits on Thursday.

Canadian Tire said part of the reason for the year-over-year decline was a dent in revenue due to slower shipments of winter products -- during a time when parts of Western Canada were already beginning to see unseasonably cold weather.

"What we're waiting for is some weather in the eastern part of Canada. We have it out West and we're waiting for some of that in the eastern part of Canada," said chief operating officer Marco Marrone, adding that sales trends have been responding positively in parts of Canada that have already seen tastes of winter weather.

"I actually talked to some dealers out West and they were telling me what was happening in their stores with respect to the winter weather and what they were seeing and so it's a positive if that kind of weather would come east."

However, while meteorologists call for early and cold wintry weather in Western Canada, temperatures are expected to remain above normal in the East.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, sales of winter tires, auto parts and outdoor tools, as well as men's and women's wear sales at Mark's, were hit by an unseasonably warm winter in parts of Canada.

CEO Stephen Wetmore has said that Canadian Tire was positioning itself for a difficult final half of 2012 in a tough retail environment, as competitors undergo liquidations and closures -- in particular Zellers.

The retailer also said it expected to face pressure from other companies that are expanding, including Walmart.

Canadian Tire (TSX:CTC.A) said Thursday that net earnings in the three months ended Sept. …

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