Canadian Tire to test groceries

Canadian Tire, the home improvement and auto parts retailer based in Toronto, will begin testing groceries on its shelves next month in two Ontario-area stores. The new retail concept, called the “Smart Store,” will debut in the city of Welland and the Ottawa suburb of Orleans, according to Canwest News Service and other Canadian media outlets.

Food offerings will concentrate on convenience items like bread and milk, according to the company, which hopes to increase foot traffic in its stores. Canadian Tire operates 468 retail locations across Canada.

U.S. retailer Sears also added “pantry goods,” along with pharmacies and health and beauty aids, to its offerings when it launched its Sears Essentials format in 2005. The company now operates 75 Sears Essentials and Sears Grand stores in 26 states.