Princess Auto

Company Overview

Princess Auto Ltd. (PAL) is a Canadian retailer with its Home Office based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As of 2009, the Company owns and operates 32 Retail Stores coast to coast. Supporting its Retail Stores are two Distribution Centres located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Milton, Ontario. Princess Auto also offers online sales and a National Mail Order Service and operates a Manufacturing Division in Winnipeg.

Princess Auto Manufacturing (PAM) builds hydraulic cylinders and assembles items such as air compressors, chemical sprayers and log splitters that are distributed and sold through its retail locations. The Manufacturing Division also makes products for customers in the Original Equipment Marketplace (OEM), including the Canadian military and Zamboni.

Store Brands

There are several items that are produced specifically for or sold only by Princess Auto. Princess Auto signature line of hand tools and hobby tools are sold under the brand name Power Fist. Power Fist tools are manufactured in developing nations such as China, and were originally not built under a very stringent quality control program like higher quality tools were, contributing to their low cost. Recent developments in the Power Fist Tool line have resulted in quality control and higher product standards. The company has undertaken a shift in product focus and is now offering national brand names such as Hitachi, DeWalt, Milwaukee and Bosch to complement the Power Fist product line. Shur-Lift is the brand name used by Princess Auto Manufacturing for its line of hydraulic cylinders. Princess Auto is the sole Canadian dealer for BLB Hydraulic products, a hydraulic valve and accessory company based in Italy.

Corporate Culture

At Princess Auto, employees are referred to as Team Members, and Managers are referred to as Leaders. For example, a Store Manager is referred to as the “Store Leader”, and an Assistant Manager as an “Assistant Leader”.

Princess Auto operates on a ustomer is always right principle, indicated in their oyal Service Promise that o Sale is Final Until Youe Satisfied.

History

In 1942, a Winnipeg truck driver reluctantly sold his 3 ton truck. He wandered into an auto wrecking shop on Princess Street and was told he could buy the business for the price of his truck.

The truck driver became the owner of a business, and that was how Mr. Harvey Tallman bought Princess Auto Wrecking. Soon, employees were hired; they stripped parts off cars and sold these parts to local garages. This is the origin of the company name. These days, Princess Auto has little to do with automotive parts.

When World War II ended, many army surplus items were available. Princess Auto expanded into buying and selling these items. Purchasing surplus hydraulic cylinders led to the manufacturing of truck hoists. A good buy on aircraft tires led to manufacturing wagons. The Company gradually expanded into the manufacture of farm and industrial machinery.

When Japan had settled down to become a friendly, industrial country, a nation ready and willing to sell its products, Princess Auto saw another opportunity, purchasing goods in Japan and marketing these goods in Canada.

By far the greatest number of items purchased came from the USA. Many buying trips into the United States led to thousands of items now for sale at Princess Auto. All of these were listed in a catalogue. These catalogues were sent to every province in Canada.

Harvey Tallman retired in 1976. His sons, Larry and Bob, began a new period of expansion. This expansion started with the first retail store opened in 1977 in Edmonton, Alberta.

In 1979, the demand for Princess Auto manufactured products had grown so much a new factory was built next to the Home Office in Winnipeg. The factory continues to be an integral part of operations.

When Larry Tallman retired in 1989, Bob Tallman took over as president of the company.

In 2005, Bob Tallman became the sole owner of Princess Auto Ltd. by purchasing all the shares in the company from his siblings.

In 2007, Bob Tallman announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of the company, remaining as Chairman and full owner of the company. Chief Financial Officer Harold Romanychyn and President Moe Claude were appointed as the new o-CEOs of Princess Auto.

In 2008, Co-CEO and President Moe Claude left the company and Bob Tallman again became CEO of the company, sharing the role with Harold Romanychyn. Romanychyn acts as financial officer and Tallman focuses on marketing and communications.

In 2009 Mark Breslauer, Senior Vice President – Marketing and Retail Operations and Paul Smith, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management joined the executive team.

In January 2010 Brendon Boland is appointed CFO, Harold Romanychyn is appointed COO and owner Bob Tallman remains CEO.

Chronology of Store Openings

1977 Edmonton, AB

1978 Saskatoon, SK

1979 Calgary, AB

1981 Regina, SK

1982 Kelowna, BC

1985 Lethbridge, AB and Grande Prairie, AB

1986 London, ON and Brandon, MB

1988 Mississauga, ON and Red Deer, AB

1989 Portage Avenue and a new store on Panet Road in Winnipeg, MB

1990 Kitchener, ON

1993 Ottawa, ON

1995 Dartmouth, NS

1996 Hamilton, ON

1998 Langley, BC

1999 Barrie, ON

2000 Moncton, NB

2002 Whitby, ON

2003 Coquitlam, BC and Prince George, BC

2004 Lloydminster, AB

2006 St. John, NF, Kingston, ON, Windsor, ON and Sarnia, ON

2008 South Calgary, AB, South Edmonton, AB, Newmarket, ON and Winnipeg, MB*, Regina SK, and Ottawa,ON

2008 Home office was expanded into the previous Panet Road store building, and will include a Museum

2009 – Sudbury, ON and a renovated store in Mississauga, ON

* The existing Panet Road store was relocated to a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) building next door to the Home office in Winnipeg.

External links

Princess Auto Official Website

Categories: Retail companies of Canada | Industrial supply companies | Privately held companies of Canada

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