Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire Money

Dear Knittah,

You may have read about how Noricum went to Canadian Tire on Saturday. Well, she actually remembered to bring me with her. I thought you might be interested to hear more about Canadian Tire, after having read about it on the Yarn Harlot's blog as well.

I suppose the best way to describe Canadian Tire to Americans is that it is like a small Walmart, about the size of a normal grocery store, but instead of having the clothing focus that Walmart has, Canadian Tire has an automotive focus. About a quarter of the store is stuff for cars and car repair, including tires. The rest has a variety of household, sports, and gardening stuff.

One of the neat things about Canadian Tire is that when you pay with cash, a percentage of your purchase is refunded to you in Canadian Tire money. You can see me posing above with a five cent "bill". It actually has a raised texture just like real money. It's basically a coupon. Once upon a time the Canadian Tire money even had expiry dates printed on it, but it doesn't any more. No one looked at the expiry dates anyway. All Canadian Tire money is in bills, even the amounts less than a dollar. Yes, Canadian Tire money comes with different denominations of bills. The tills in the store have a second cash drawer which the tellers withdraw and put back whatever Canadian Tire money changes hands.

Noricum suspects there are three basic types of people when it comes to Canadian Tire:
1. Those who hoard their Canadian Tire money, like Noricum's dad. (She doesn't think he does it on purpose, more that he forgets to bring it with him.) He has a big wad of Canadian Tire money. He's mentioned that he does bring it in and spends it when he has large amounts. Can you imagine buying something with a big wad of Canadian Tire money? I wonder how long it would take to count out all of those small bills!
2. Those who keep their Canadian Tire money in their wallets, and use what they have before spending cash on every Canadian Tire purchase. Noricum is like this.
3. Those who can't be bothered. There's little donation buckets at the tills for those types, and their Canadian Tire money goes to charities.

Somehow, Canadian Tire money has gotten to be an ingrained part of Canadian culture. Isn't that interesting?



Knittah said...

I don't think we have anything like that here in the States. Imagine if Walmart gave out Walmart money? Somehow, it doesn't match my impression of retail America. But Canadian Tire sounds so cool and - Canadian! I love it! I'm moving to Canada . . . .

Cora said...

Canadian Tire is one of the few "Canadian" stores left. My husband love to go there.