Canadian Tire closes their online affiliate program – will survive ?

Canadian Tire StoreWell, less than 18 months after Canadian Tire essentially closed their online store, they’ve now officially announced the demise of their affiliate program. The affiliate program was initially designed for webmasters to make a commission on sales generated by driving visitors to the CT online store to make purchases. Once the online store was essentially closed, the affiliate program languished on – albeit it was pretty much to reward webmasters who sent visitors that bought CT gift cards; which are one of the few products they now sell online.

I ran campaigns on several client sites pointing traffic to the Canadian Tire site, and I’m also (like any real Canadian) a big fan of Canadian Tire, so I’m a bit saddened to see them backing away even further from the online world as far as eCommerce goes. Perhaps they just figured out that their core clientele preferred the fun of shopping in their bricks and mortar outlets. That, or the prohibitive cost of offering reasonable shipping rates given the weight and volume of most products they sell outweighed the expanded marketplace.

Here’s the official news we received:

Dear Robin Majumdar,

Please be advised that Canadian Tire has decided to discontinue their affiliate program. We would like to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication over the years to the Canadian Tire affiliate program. As of JULY 31st 2010 activity will no longer be tracked through Linkshare for the Canadian Tire affiliate program and the Canadian Tire affiliate agreement with you will expire.

PLEASE REMOVE ALL CANADIAN TIRE CREATIVE supplied through Linkshare including text links, banners, data feeds, or any other type of Linkshare link for the Canadian Tire affiliate program by July 31st 2010. After this date, links will no longer track or land on their intended landing pages.

Canadian Tire will not be transitioning their affiliate program to another network. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Tim Mueller (Linkshare) and The Canadian Tire Affiliate Team

Note the final quote about not transition to another network (from Linkshare) which pretty much drives a nail into the online venture for Canadian Tire – for now. The question that remains… how much longer will continue to exist – and in what form?

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