Giant Tiger Warehouse Grand OpeningMarch 28, 2016
I’m an MP, but that’s not the hat I’m wearing today.
I am here today to represent my father, Gordon Reid, who founded Giant Tiger 55 years ago, and who remains active in the company as the Chairman of the Board of Directors, and who still works at the office, attached to our current warehouse on Walkley Rd in Ottawa, five days a week—except when he’s on the road, as he was last Thursday, when he drove me out to look at some potential store locations—and also to this place, so that I could get a first glimpse of the location that will become the site of our new warehouse facility.
As Giant Tiger grows, so do its warehousing and trucking needs. As the representative of the man who founded this company, and who has presided over half a century of growth and expansion, I thought I might devote myself to giving the long-term view: Putting the future of our warehousing into a perspective framed by its past.
In the very early days, when I was a little boy, we had no warehousing at all, other than that which could be found within the square footage of our existing stores. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Giant Tiger experimented with the catalogue business, and all the merchandise was kept in the basement at our store on 98 George St. I remember stocking those shelves by hand myself on weekends.
This was supplemented, in the early 70s, by opening a kind of warehouse on the top floor of our store on Wellington Street West, in what is now the fashionable restaurant district of Hintonburg. Boxes were carried upstairs by hand, and were slid down a metal chute to an opening at street level, where they could be loaded into trucks. It was my father’s rule to make every part of the business into a separate profit centre, and so this was set up as a business, which he named “TWR”