Ken Pack retiring from Giant Tiger
SHAWVILLE – After 47 years in the retail business, with 34 of them at Giant Tiger (GT) and the last 23 owning, operating and growing the store in Shawville, Ken Pack is ‘packing’ it in and retiring August 1.
The store has been sold back to GT, and when efforts to promote someone to manager from within didn’t pan out, the corporation sought out a manager from within the company. Starting August 2, Brandyn Gauthier will take the helm after he moves to Bristol with his wife and four children. Gauthier is a community-minded person who was a volunteer firefighter and Rotary member in his hometown of New Liskeard, and will be a good fit for the Pontiac, said Pack.
With only a couple of days’ orientation, Pack plans to mentor Gauthier and will be available to ease the transition. “I don’t want this to fail; this business means a lot to me, it’s my baby,” he said.
Pack has been mulling the idea of retirement for the past few years, but the decision hit home when he suffered some unexpected losses in the last year. His decision was only reinforced when his younger brother suddenly died two weeks ago at age 61, and Pack realized he wanted to spend more time with his family and farm, including his six grandchildren.
Having worked 80 hours a week for the last 40 years, not only was the decision difficult, but emotional too. Pack described crying when announcing the decision to staff and struggling with severing the business connections with staff and the community. Slowly tapering down the work week wasn’t an option, as GT franchise rules require owners to give 110%; there’s no option for part-time work to transition out.
“I love the business, the job and the Pontiac, but I need to have some time and my body is getting tired,” he said about the struggle to make his decision.
As for specific plans, Pack said he loves the Pontiac and isn’t moving. He plans to remain active in the community, retaining his role as Vice-President of the SADC. He’s also anticipating getting some work done around the house and farm. His wife has been managing the farm full-time and has concerns for Ken, who is a real people person. “Horses don’t talk back, and she’s worried I’m going to get depressed,” he joked.
“I sincerely thank everyone in the Pontiac for the support we’ve received over the years, which has been absolutely tremendous. Originally GT thought we would only have a small store, but we’ve grown three times because of the community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he concluded.