As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, Canadian Tire Corporation (TSX:CTC,TSX:CTC.a) (CTC) continues to meet the heightened needs of Canadians and communities across the nation.
As ‘Canada’s Store’, Canadian Tire Retail stores remain open, where permitted, to provide the essential products Canadians need during the current COVID-19 crisis. The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and we have introduced several measures to reduce the spread of the virus in our stores. Stores have reduced their hours and are continuing to take precautions with enhanced cleaning protocols. To enforce physical distancing, we have installed plexiglass and floor decals and are working to limit the number of customers allowed in-store at any given time.
We continue to experience significant increases in Canadian Tire’s eCommerce business across many categories. Last week, with the introduction of Curbside Pick Up, customers were offered another way to same-day shop while maintaining their physical distance. Demand for the new service has been strong during the first week of operation.
We previously announced that our Mark’s/L’Équipeur, SportChek, Party City, Pro Hockey Life, National Sports, and PartSource stores have been temporarily closed to the public. While they will remain closed until further notice, we are continuing to see significant eCommerce demand, particularly at SportChek and Mark’s as Canadians purchase health and fitness products and healthcare and industrial apparel. We are fully committed to helping our employees during this difficult time through financial support for our frontline teams, including a special support payment for our corporate store, distribution and call centre employees.
Canadian Tire is also taking aggressive action to preserve its cash position and financial flexibility, including:
- Implementing a plan to reduce operating costs at our head office and corporate stores, and to reduce working capital across the enterprise
- Deferring some of our 2020 planned capital expenditures, in all categories of projects
- Pausing the repurchase of shares
- Leveraging our well-established and solid relationships with Canadian banks and our high standing in capital markets to secure additional sources of liquidity should they be required. This is in addition to the existing funding channels available to CTC and its related entities, which are:
- $1.975B committed bank lines for general corporate purposes at CTC
- $2B Note Purchase Facility, and $250M revolver at Canadian Tire Bank
- $300M committed bank lines at CT REIT
- 350M Norwegian Krone (“NOK”) secured revolving committed credit facility for Helly Hansen
“We have long-established ourselves as a resilient organization and we are well-positioned to manage through these unprecedented times. Our multi-category assortment, healthy balance sheet, Triangle Rewards program, credit card value proposition, access to multiple sources of liquidity for all our businesses, and ultimately, the essential role we play in communities across Canada, will serve us well as the country emerges from this current crisis,” said Greg Hicks, President and CEO, Canadian Tire Corporation.