Canadian Tire

Product Safety & Quality

Our Commitment

We are committed to continually improving product quality and durability to ensure that our products live up to our customers’ expectations.

The reliability of our products is the bedrock of our past, present and future success. We value that Canadians trust us to provide goods they can confidently use on the road, with their families, around their pets and on the job. It is a responsibility we take seriously, and we invest the necessary resources to protect the safety of our customers and ensure their satisfaction when using our products.

When products fall short of expectations, it is a loss for everyone. For our business, we deal with the financial cost of materials, personnel hours and reputational risk. For our customers, it costs them time in dealing with a return and the disappointment of a product that has failed them. And for the environment, discarded products and packaging can create significant unnecessary waste.

Our product safety and quality controls factor in evolving stakeholder priorities and consumer trends. As more Canadians question the environmental impact of their products and attribute value to purchases that support them in their sustainability journeys, we are increasing our focus on methods of extending a product’s life cycle. This includes steadily expanding our inventory of products made from reclaimed, recycled and responsibly sourced materials. To learn more, visit our Circularity: Packaging, Product & Operational Waste section.

Through our product safety and quality efforts, we avoid costly operational inefficiencies, risks and losses by employing experts in engineering, design and compliance; listening to our customers’ feedback in product reviews and return claims; keeping on top of regulations and recalls; and meeting – and often setting – best practices in Canada within our industry.

We Are Here to Make Life in Canada Better by providing dependable products that allow Canadians to enjoy the jobs and joys of life, safely and effectively.

Our Approach

We take a multi-faceted approach to product safety and quality that aims to ensure that everything we sell meets our quality performance and safety expectations. Our efforts integrate the expertise of merchants, buyers, product developers and designers; mechanical, electrical and industrial engineers; and quality control and compliance analysts.


Providing customers with quality products that meet their needs

Product quality has been an area of focus for our Company for many years, and we are proud of our continual progress and success. We make use of many tools, processes and strategies, including construction specifications, new products assessment protocols, root cause analysis measures for defective products and validation processes for corrective action plans.

Delivering quality products to customers

The greatest indicator of how well our product teams have done their jobs is in our defective claim rates and product return rates. We are proud to say that our focus and attention in this area has resulted in some of the lowest defective claim and product return rates in the industry. At Canadian Tire stores, our 2022 defective claim rate1 was 0.9%, and we have consistently achieved defective claim rates below 1% over the last five years. Our customer product return rate2 at Canadian Tire stores in 2022 was 3.1%.

2021 return rate of products across Canadian Tire Corporation

Defective Claim Rate 0.9%

2021 return rate of products across Canadian Tire Corporation

Product Return Rate 3.1%

In addition to our return and defective rate metrics, our teams also leverage feedback from our online reviews, stores, After Sales Service Program and supply chain partners to improve upon existing products. In 2022, approximately 1,200 customer complaints were reviewed by our Product Quality team, 10% fewer complaints than in the prior year.3

Our process of investigating complaints and analyzing issues with products often includes working with product developers and vendors directly to share our data and solutions. For example, in 2022, we reduced our defective claims of Christmas lights by 17% compared to 2021 by analyzing consumer returns, sharing our engineers’ analysis with our vendors and developing product designs and manufacturing techniques that resolved the product failures. This allowed all parties to avoid financial impact, improved manufacturing efficiencies and, most importantly, improved our customers’ experience with the products.

TESTED for Life in Canada

Our Canadian Tire TESTED for Life in Canada program tests thousands of products using qualified testers who understand and share the same needs as our customers. These testers use and examine our products in real-life settings, examining every feature and function to ensure that these products are suited for life in Canada. Honest feedback is then collected to help fellow Canadians make informed decisions on products for their everyday lives. Only products that have an average rating of 4+ stars earn our TESTED badge. Learn more about our TESTED for Life in Canada program.

Tested for life in Canada

Ensuring that our owned brand products are safe for our customers

CTC offers over 100 owned brands, including familiar names such as Mastercraft, MotoMaster and Woods. In 2022, we spent over 3,300 person-days in our manufacturing partners’ factories assessing facility capabilities and monitoring production within our supply chain. Some of these facilities that produce our owned brand products are also ISO 9001 certified, a quality management standard with principles on strong customer focus and continual improvement. These facilities are also subject to a rigorous auditing process, and we rely on various auditing protocols including amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative audits. Learn more in our Human Rights & Social Responsibility section.

For our owned brand products, we perform in-house and third-party testing and product evaluations during the development and prototype stages. This testing includes chemical, material, safety, performance, functionality and durability evaluations among other aspects of the product. We rely on a risk framework to assess all our product categories, and work with each vendor and brand to implement a testing and inspection plan targeting the highest risk and most impactful products. Through this process, all our high-risk owned brand products are subject to third-party testing. We also perform random testing during the product life cycle to ensure manufacturing and design consistency.

To support our commitment to product safety and quality, we actively participate in several product safety associations and committees, including the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization; Retail Council of Canada’s Product Safety and Recall Committee; Retail Industry Leaders Association’s Product Safety Committee; and American Apparel & Footwear Association’s Product Safety Council. We are also active with various standards development organizations that focus on product safety and sustainability standards, including the Canadian Standards Association, UL and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In addition, the Company benefits from our activities on Standards Council of Canada committees that are focused on consumer interests and sustainability, which influence the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. By working with these associations and committees, we stay comprehensively up to date on best practices regarding the use of safe materials across our business.

Keeping harmful chemicals out of our products

Our customers share our concerns about the safety and durability of our products. That is why we work diligently to ensure that our products remain safe and do not pose a risk to health or the environment when used and disposed of as directed. For more than a decade, we have been going beyond government requirements by choosing safer alternatives for substances and chemicals in our products where there is scientific evidence of health or environmental risks.

We maintain a Safer Chemicals Policy and continue to make updates based on our comprehensive data gathering and collaboration with industry safety associations and committees. Some recent actions include:

  • Eliminating formaldehyde in all manufactured wood products
  • Piloting the industry standard bluesign® Restricted Substances List, with plans to engage all our vendors of apparel and footwear products across the enterprise on these standards by the end of 2023, with stricter enforcement to follow in future years
  • Continuing a multi-year effort to identify, reduce and eliminate the use of the PFAS/PFOS family of chemicals in all our products
  • Continuing efforts to expand chemical restrictions and alternative chemical assessments on all food handling products

When the unfortunate situation of a product recall with one of our vendors or products occurs, we immediately work to relay the message to customers who may have purchased that product. In addition to amplifying the manufacturer’s message, we use our available Triangle Rewards membership data to reach customers directly so that we might prevent them from experiencing any potential harm. Out of our thousands of owned brand products sold through CTC in 2022, six were involved in a consumer recall, a small decrease from seven in 2021.4

1 Defective claim rate is calculated by dividing defective claims by sales.

2 Product return rate is calculated by dividing product returns by sales. Product returns refers to the number of units returned by Canadian Tire retail customers.

3 This metric covers all of our retail operations excluding Helly Hansen.

4 Each recall covers one product but includes all of the product variations (sizes, colours, styles, etc.).

Unless otherwise indicated, information in this ESG Report is provided for the 2022 fiscal year. For further information on our approach to ESG reporting, including our Glossary, which sets out definitions of capitalized terms and acronyms that are not otherwise defined on this page, and our forward-looking information disclaimer, please click here.