Giant Tiger distribution center on track to open in 2018

Mike Quinn, vice president of warehousing for Giant Tiger, speaks to attendees at the Leeds-Grenville Economic Development Summit in Kemptville, Ont. Quinn said their distribution center construction is on track and should be fully operational by the summer of 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

KEMPTVILLE – The head of warehousing for Giant Tiger says they are going to be “very cautious” as they look to open their Johnstown distribution center (DC) in 2018.

Mike Quinn, vice president of warehousing and distribution and Paul Wood, chief financial officer, updated attendees during the eighth annual Leeds-Grenville Economic Development Summit Friday.

Quinn said roughly 200 construction workers are on site in any given day and the building should be completed by the spring of 2017.

A new state-of-the-art robotic system for handling pallets and racking will be installed through the summer and testing will start in the fall of 2017. Employees will also need to be trained on the new equipment, Quinn said.

Giant Tiger will start physical testing in January 2018 and will be “cautious” about getting the facility up and running in order to not disrupt the network of 225 stores across Canada.

Quinn and Wood showed the group various flyover videos and simulations to see what the 600,000 square foot building will look like once its completed.

The building will be secured with 130 cameras and will be able to handle parking for 200 trailers and will have 54 docks.

Quinn and Wood received a warm reception from the audience, many of them complimenting them on the presentation.

As for how many people will be working at the DC, Wood said he couldn’t give a firm number as they are still seeking commitments from their Ottawa employees on whether they will relocate as Giant Tiger consolidates operations in Johnstown.

CFO Wood explained the current product is shipped by rail into Montreal and then trucked to Ottawa, when asked about using the railway network near the Johnstown DC.

Wood said it’s something they may explore in the future but there are no immediate plans to ship by rail from Johnstown.