- For the defunct American retail chain, see Harts Stores.
|Traded as||TSX-V: HIS|
|Headquarters||Laval, Quebec, Canada|
|Robert Farah, President & COO / Harry Hart, Executive Chairman of the Board & CEO|
Hart Stores Inc. is a mid-sized discount department store which was dominant in the region of Eastern Canada. It was founded in 1960 by Harry Hart, in Rosemère, Quebec. Hart stores are based in the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Ontario. The head office was originally based in the Montreal borough of Anjou but moved to Laval, Quebec, a northern suburb of Montreal, in early 2006.
The company operates 60 stores across Canada, branded as Hart, primarily in smaller and suburban markets. Before running into financial difficulties in 2011, the chain had 92 stores under the Hart and Bargain Giant banners, extending as far east as Newfoundland.
The average store is approximately 2,000 - 5,000 m2. The company positions itself within the market as a niche marketer. The target customer is low to average consumers. Hart's pricing strategy is to implement both everyday low prices as well as the high/low strategy. The company does not emphasize a private label within their stores.
The Hart clothing retail operation was one of several diverse retail and inside-sales businesses that operated under the Hart family umbrella. Computer retail and corporate IT services fell under their Hartco brands (managed independently from Hart Stores), included Metafore, Northwest Digital, CompuSmart, MicroAge and their original Compucentre chain of stores. The Telephone Booth/Cabine Téléphonique, a chain of stores that sells wired, cordless and cellular phones, was operated by Hartco until its recent purchase by Glentel.
During the annual shareholders meeting held on June 15, 2000, the shareholders approved a plan of arrangement to distribute its wholly owned subsidiaries of computer and IT services to the company's common shareholders. The arrangement resulted in the formation of a separate publicly traded company operating under Hartco Inc. (TSX: HCI). The department store division operated as Hart Stores and was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
From a historical level of losses, before the plan of arrangement, the company began to report sustained and consistent profits under new leadership. In fiscal 2006 the company reported net profits of $7.0 million.
In October 2011, the Hart Stores company had run into financial difficulties, and was granted bankruptcy protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Canadian law. Tiger Capital Group LLC (Receiver?) and closed 32 of the company's 92 Canadian stores.
Eight of the former Newfoundland Bargain Giant locations were converted in 2012 to Rossy stores.