TORONTO — After 55 years of selling clothes, household items and groceries to Canadians, discount retailer Giant Tiger is flaunting a new and improved fashion image in its stores, as well as its first national ad campaign dubbed “Inner Voice.”
Timed to follow the recent refurbishment of its 218 stores in eight provinces, Giant Tiger has introduced three new private-label brands into its retail locations, which include Lily Morgan for special occasion dressing, MyStyle for casualwear and the ath-leisure-inspired exercise line ACX Active.
Unlike the company’s earlier fashion picks, which skewed to the more mature woman, the latest brands offer on-trend wardrobe basics for all ages and shapes, with small to plus sizes included in all three lines.
Prices for the collections — which include camisoles, tops, dresses, Capri pants, printed leggings, fashion denim and accessories — range between 3.50 and 30 Canadian dollars, or $2.70 to $23.10 at current exchange, which is a draw for the budget-conscious, 25- to 40-year-old women who shop Giant Tiger throughout rural and suburban Canada.
Brian Hession, Giant Tiger’s vice president of soft goods and fashion footwear, said a customer can put together an entire outfit for 30 Canadian dollars. “The quality and fit have also improved. It’s more than what customers used to expect from Giant Tiger,” he said.
All the brands are based on an occasion-based buying model, not consumers’ ages or lifestyles. “Historically Giant Tiger has been aligned to age in terms of how it chose to sell apparel. But after a year of research and development, which included many conversations with our franchise owners and customers, that viewpoint changed,” Hession said. “We learned pretty quickly that purchasing clothes by age alone did not fit the way consumers shop today.”
“Women want to feel current and on trend whether they are 20, 30 or 40. But they don’t want to feel guilty about the money they spend on clothes. That awareness has driven all our efforts,” said Giant Tiger’s vice president of marketing Karen Sterling.
Consumers can find Lily Morgan, MyStyle and ACX Active are featured in their own “fashion houses” in the newly refurbished Giant Tiger stores, which makes shopping easier for consumers, according to Sterling. These brands are refreshed weekly to ensure that high-frequency customers can find the apparel they want.
The privately owned, Ottawa-based company has also buttressed this fashion investment with the launch of its “Inner Voice” ad campaign, which debuted in mid-June. Created by Toronto-based Yield Branding, the mass-marketing effort features three TV spots in English and French that follow real women enjoying some “me” time as they visit friends, exercise and stroll through the park. The ads end with the tagline, “For you. For less.”
According to Sterling, Giant Tiger has received e-mails and phone calls from consumers who are glad to see ordinary women portrayed as role models for Canadians. “This campaign’s focus is on real women, the lives they lead, positive body imagery and the overlooked priority of putting themselves first,” said Sterling.
“As we see it, there is an interesting opportunity for Giant Tiger to bring its message to Canadian communities as U.S. players have departed the country,” said Sterling, whose company is expected to launch 16 stores before the end of 2016, as well as 10 to 15 new locations a year moving forward.