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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 49, December 6, 2009, Article 19

CANADIAN TIRE LAUNCHES $1 COIN

The Canadian Tire company has for years issued paper money that has become quite popular as a collectable. Now, the company has taken a step in a new direction by issuing a "coin". But is the company phasing out it's popular paper money? -Editor

Canadian Tire coin Some Canadian Tire shoppers were scratching their heads with confusion on Wednesday after the iconic retailer took a cue from the loonie and temporarily introduced a dollar coin to its famous multicoloured bill lineup.

The coins will be available for hardly a weekend, arriving at stores in most parts of the country on Saturday and ending their run on Sunday, but the publicity is intended to drum up interest during the crucial holiday shopping season.

However, if comments outside a Canadian Tire store in Toronto are any sign, not everybody likes the change.

"I've got lots of paper money, and now I've got this in my pocket? It looks heavy," said Victor Baptista as he handled the coin.

"Most of mine I lose... or it just gets stored. My drawer is full of them."

The "money," which can be used like cash only at Canadian Tire stores and gas bars, was previously available only in bill form in denominations from five cents to $2, all stamped with the grinning image of Sandy McTire, the company's tam-o'shanter-bedecked and mustachioed fictional mascot.

The new silver coin has McTire on one side, and is emblazoned with the Canadian Tire logo on the other. Just like its official cousins, the loonie and the toonie, the coin will be manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint.

While the coin is only available at Canada's largest hard goods retailer for a couple days, it marks a major shift for the half-century-old Canadian Tire Money, which has until now never strayed from its papered roots.

To read the complete article, see: Canadian Tire launches limited edition $1 coin (www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091202/
canadian_tire_091202/20091202)

In a digital economy, Canadian Tire money is quite literally throwback to an era of physical cash and human interaction that scarcely exists in this online age of speedy and efficient consumption.

But a decision to cancel the paper money program would surely shock the nation - not least, the money's ardent collectors - even if the retailer has already moved to a parallel electronic rewards program using a credit card and electronic Canadian Tire money.

"They may be cutting back their printing costs while at the same time not eliminating Canadian Tire money altogether, but replacing say, the 50 cent, dollar, and two dollar (bills) with a coin," Fox said, adding, "I'm just thinking out loud, that's all. I have no proof."

Canadian Tire has been making a gradual shift away from emphasizing its paper money.

Canadian Tire rolls out new dollar coin (www.thestar.com/business/article/733544--
canadian-tire-rolls-out-new-dollar-coin?bn=1)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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