By Stewart Grant
In St. Marys, we have had some amazing store owners come to our town through our local Canadian Tire franchise. With Daniel Lubimcev recently moving on to the Ganonoque store location, the Stonetown Canadian Tire welcomed new dealers Angie Kim-Miskuski and Matt Miskuski, who joined the local team effective November 8.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting this engaging couple at their Wellington Street store and learned about their unique path to St. Marys and to Canadian Tire.
Angie and Matt met in the Loblaws organization as fellow store operators, where combined they have over 30 years of senior leadership experience in the grocery business. Despite the tremendous success within Loblaws in their respective roles, in 2021 they resigned in a leap of faith and pursued a new path together with Canadian Tire that is celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year.
Angie mentioned, â€śMatt and I are passionate operators and the team and customers at St. Marys will receive both of our undivided support.â€ť
Angie and Matt also experienced personal connections to St. Marys early on in their Canadian Tire journey. During the training process, they worked at a few Canadian Tire locations to learn the business from the ground up. One of those locations was in Peterborough, where the current dealer Marcus Weinbrecht had overseen the construction of the new St. Marys store and the decommissioning of the old store located on Water Street 25 years ago.
Also, a location that they visited early in the process was at this very location in St. Marys, under the guidance of Daniel Lubimcev. â€śBefore we even started training,â€ť said Angie, â€śMatt and I had both been to this store, to speak to Daniel. Canadian Tire St. Marys may be small, but is very intimate with the community, so you get to experience the ins and outs of what Canadian Tire should really be about in their connection with the community.â€ť
Angie added, â€śWe also fell in love with the existing team in St. Marys. Every one of them cares so deeply for the store and the customers. We have a tremendous amount of respect for them.â€ť
â€śYour first store is assigned to you,â€ť Matt said of the Canadian Tire dealer process. â€śYou donâ€™t have a say in the matter so sometimes you are worried about where you might end up. But when we got the phone call about St. Marys, we couldnâ€™t have been happier.â€ť
Something that Angie and Matt always liked to do at their previous stores is making connections and building relationship with their customers. The difference here in St. Marys versus the GTA is that people say hello back! â€śItâ€™s so rare for us to not only be responded back to when you say hello, but people actually genuinely care,â€ť they gratefully noted.
There are many initiatives that the couple have planned for the store that revolve around improving the experience for people.
In the new year, they will be investing in new digital signage. â€śItâ€™s a 3-inch LCD on every single label in the store,â€ť Matt described. â€śCustomers have the exact retail price on the fly as well as gaining efficiency for the team where they hit an update button once a week for the start of the promotion and it is updated instantly.â€ť
Angie further explained the benefits of this investment. â€śRight now, we spend a lot of team hours on changing the price labels, because there are so many SKUs. If we can invest in the technology, it will free up a lot of time for the team. Weâ€™re looking to re-invest those hours back into customer service, and to always have somebody available to help customers out.â€ť
Other planned enhancements for the store include modernized display aisle signages with graphics and icons to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for. â€śItâ€™s basically a resetting of the store after 25 years,â€ť said Matt. â€śItâ€™s great for the customer shopping experience and also thereâ€™s a sense of pride for the team that is working here.â€ť
Both Matt and Angie are community-oriented and are excited to arrive in St. Marys just before Christmas when there are events that bring people together. One of the first things that they did upon arriving was to make a generous donation to St. Marysâ€™ WinterLights exhibition which is always a hit with families to enjoy.
Another important community event coming up is Canadian Tireâ€™s Annual Toy Drive with the OPP, occurring this Saturday at the store. The local team will get the ball rolling by donating a lot of toys to create a base, but further donations from the public to fill the police cruiser a few times to help families out this holiday season would be so appreciated.
A great shopping opportunity coming up this week at the store is for the annual Red Thursday and Black Friday sales which will offer some of the best deals of the year.
Next time you are in the store, have a look out for Angie and Matt, who will likely greet you with a warm â€śhelloâ€ť and a big smile when they see you passing through the aisles.