TAKING STOCK: Tigers can change their stripes

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by Emily Atkins
Emily Atkins is editor of Inside Logistics magazine.

For those familiar with discount retailer Giant Tiger, our cover feature may surprise you.

Why? Well, I don’t want to spoil the story, but let’s say they’ve taken a brave leap into the future and pounced upon some forward-thinking technology in their new DC. This privately owned Canadian store has devoted a lot of planning and resources to creating a sustainable distribution model for its growing suite of outlets across the country.

But even those on the inside thought the gambit would be shot down at the board level. Discount retail is not often thought of as the place for cutting edge technology firsts. Read the full story starting on page 14 to find out their plans.

I love this story because it illustrates the kind of audacious planning that will carry a company into the future. It’s a long-term plan, and one that carries no small amount of risk. Fortune favours the bold, they say, and Giant Tiger is proving to be like its namesake – a cunning, fierce hunter.

I also love the story because it has a softer side. Part of GT’s reasoning behind the decision is protecting their operations against the growing labour shortage. But far from squeezing out the human element, the company is going to great lengths to nurture its employees. Read the feature to find out some of the reasons why 80 per cent of the company’s Ottawa, Ontario-based warehouse workforce has made the move to the new facility 100 km down the road in Johnstown, near Prescott, Ont.

We will be following the Giant Tiger as it continues its cross-Canada expansion plan. Will the competitive advantage it’s hoping to gain pan out? Stay tuned for updates.

If you need other reasons to keep reading, let me suggest the story on page 28. It’s part of our Installation Inventory section, and it details an amazing 26-km conveyor line in China. Here’s another example of creative thinking overcoming a major operational challenge.

As always, we are on the lookout for great supply chain stories. If you’d like to share your ideas with the rest of our supply
chain community at Inside Logistics, please drop me a note at emily@newcom.ca. I look forward to hearing from you.