After a brief hiatus, the Canadian Tire Auto Services Centre retail store in Gordon Head is set to reopen on May 4.
It puts an end to any confusion, as the Canadian Tire auto garage at 3993 Cedar Hill Rd. never closed, though the retail portion was shut down back in September for renovations while the garage remained open.
The public is invited to see the renovated automotive store when it opens at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
The new flagship Canadian Tire at Hillside mall has been up and running since November, the former Douglas Store is permanently closed, and the juggling of moving staff in between is over, said store owner Justin Young.
“We’re so excited to have the retail back open in Gordon Head,” Young said. “This is a celebration to open our Gordon Head store and to explain that Gordon Head is an automotive centre, which includes the auto services [garage] that never left, and the retail.”
Because of lease conditions and physical restrictions, Young said they were unable to install service bays at Hillside.
The garage at Gordon Head has been outfitted with all new hoists and equipment to complement the dedicated auto retail store. A total of 14 staff run the Gordon Head location, which is about one-third the size of the original Canadian Tire store built there in 1982.
The massive 150,000 square-foot Hillside location, meanwhile, is off to a roaring start. It opened back in November (replacing the failed Target) just in time for its first Christmas season in 2016, and Young says they’ll have twice the seasonal Christmas lights and decorations available for 2017.
“I already put the orders in, if you can believe it, for next Christmas,” Young said.
Perhaps because Victoria is the garden city that it is, the Hillside location is No. 7 in plant sales among B.C. Canadian Tire stores. And that’s without a garden centre, Young added.
“We’re also No. 2 in Canada for toy sales this year,” Young added.
The toy display probably helps, as escalator-riding customers are welcomed by the inviting toy display when they reach the second floor. The escalators include a cart escalator as Hillside has its own automotive parts section on the second floor along with the year-round camping, marine and sports section.
It takes about 175 employees to run the Hillside location and the team is still learning, Young said.
“We have some people who’ve been with Canadian Tire for 30 years. We’ve merged the staffs from the Douglas Street and Gordon Head locations and we continue to learn and make this a better store.”