Canadian Tire To Shutter ‘National Sports’ Outlets

Canadian Tire Corp. (TSX:CTC.A) is closing all its National Sports stores to reduce overlap in the company's sporting goods business.

A total of 18 National Sports stores across southern Ontario will be closed. The decision was announced as Canadian Tire reported a fourth-quarter profit and that revenue rose compared with a year ago.

Canadian Tire Corp. operates several brands, including Canadian Tire, Mark's, SportChek, Atmosphere, Sports Experts and Pro Hockey Life. Across the company's various brands, consolidated comparable sales grew a record 9.5% in the fourth quarter while e-commerce sales grew 142%.

Same-store sales for the flagship Canadian Tire outlets grew 12.8%, with seasonal sales related to Christmas up 41% in the quarter, while e-commerce sales surged 179%.

Canadian Tire Corp. said its net income attributable to shareholders totaled $488.8 million or $7.97 per diluted share for the quarter ended January 2. The result was up from $334.1 million or $5.42 per diluted share in its fourth quarter a year earlier.

Revenue was $4.87 billion, up from $4.32 billion. On an adjusted basis, Canadian Tire said it earned $8.40 per diluted share, up from $5.53 a year earlier. The company was expected to post $6.69 per share in adjusted profits on $4.83 billion of revenues, according to Refinitiv data.

The decision to close National Sports is part of Canadian Tire's strategy to increase efficiencies and focus on core assets, the company said. An evaluation of the company's portfolio as part of its operational efficiency program with an investor mindset led to the decision to close the National Sports stores.

National Sports, which carries sportswear, shoes and gear, was launched in 1968 as National Gym Clothing, according to its website. All National Sports stores will close by the end of June.