The Columbia Valley's new Canadian Tire hopes to open for business this March.

The Columbia Valley's new Canadian Tire hopes to open for business this March.

Canadian Tire just a month away

As winter draws to a close, valley residents can look forward to the opening of a brand new Canadian Tire store.

As winter draws to a close, valley residents can look forward to the opening of a brand new Canadian Tire store.

Located at 480 Sarah Road just outside Invermere, the new 20,000 square foot retailer is looking at a soft opening either the third or fourth week of March, with a grand opening April 26.

“We’re working hard to even beat (the date for the soft opening), but barring some unforeseen situation everything is looking good,” branch owner Craig Knapp said.

The grand opening will run from April 26 to 29, and Knapp says it will feature hundreds of deals on all sorts of items. He expects people from across the valley will attend, as the nearest Canadian Tire at the present time is in Cranbrook.

“As a retailer you have to realize first and foremost that consumers are educated these days,” Knapp said. “We’re going to have the same pricing that our store in Cranbrook has, and there (will be) no real reason to go to Cranbrook anymore, at least for the products we carry. I think a lot of people are going to be happy with the position we take on products and pricing here.”

The construction of the store is more or less complete, according to Knapp, and at this point the store is in the process of receiving some of its first product shipments.

The location has been under construction for much of the last year, and following a job fair in December in which Knapp said they interviewed over 200 applicants, around 10 people have been hired, with a number of others shortlisted but not officially hired as of yet.

When fully staffed, Knapp expects the store to employ roughly 30 to 35 people, and he also thinks he may need to hire a few more when the summer rush hits.

“From being here only a few weeks and travelling around to other retail stores in town, there’s a lot that we carry that isn’t available here,” Knapp said. “I think we’re going to bring a lot of selection to the community, I think we’ll bring a lot of value, and I know our pricing is going to be very competitive.”

Knapp says the look of the store is a bit different from other Canadian Tires to fit in with the valley, but consumers should expect the full range of products associated with any regular branch, from home and garden supplies to outdoor recreation equipment.

“It’s really exciting,” Knapp said. “Every day we see a lot of progress, and it’s really fun to see it come together. Like any project, it’s kind of built twice—once on paper and once for real, so to see that paper plan come to fruition is really fun to see. I’m really excited to be here, and people have been so friendly since we arrived… the people here are fantastic.”