Tim Hortons dumps ice cream, launches loyalty program

As Tim Hortons pulls the plug on its Cold Stone Creamery brand in Canada, the iconic coffee chain announced its plans to launch a loyalty rewards program for CIBC Visa cardholders. The chain’s decision to end ice cream sales in Canada cost Tim Hortons about $19 million in the fourth quarter but will help simplify its […]

As Tim Hortons pulls the plug on its Cold Stone Creamery brand in Canada, the iconic coffee chain announced its plans to launch a loyalty rewards program for CIBC Visa cardholders.

A refreshed vision for Tim Hortons begins to take shape this week as the company releases details on its financial results, and how it plans to remain innovative in the highly-competitive Canadian coffee market. (CP)

The chain’s decision to end ice cream sales in Canada cost Tim Hortons about $19 million in the fourth quarter but will help simplify its menu, which has grown far beyond coffee and doughnuts, and allows franchise owners to focus on their core business.

Its partnership with the American dairy chain Cold Stone Creamery, which began in 2009, will continue in the U.S. Tim Hortons locations.

The announcement came Thursday as Tim Hortons reported it had $898.5 million of revenue during the fourth quarter, up 10.7% from a year earlier, but a smaller profit than analysts were expecting.

Tim Horton’s operating income fell by 1.8% to $147.8 million, in part because of the Cold Stone Creamery de-branding and also by the decision to close some underperforming U.S. restaurants.

The U.S. closures resulted in a $6.6 million charge in the fourth quarter.

“During the fourth quarter, we made important strides to position the company for further success,” Marc Caira, Tim Hortons president and CEO, said in a statement Thursday.

“We have worked to enhance our capital structure, as well as simplify our operations, strengthen our menu and refresh our restaurants, all to provide the ultimate guest experience.”

“I believe the choices we are making today and the strategic roadmap we are developing will set the stage for continued long-term growth and profitability.”

Caira will take the stage at the company’s investor day on Tuesday to further describe the next steps for the company.

The same day Tim Hortons announced its fourth-quarter results, it unveiled a co-branded credit card that allows CIBC clients to accumulate points (“Tim Cash”) for all purchases made with the card. Tim Cash can be redeemed instantly at participating locations.

“At Tim Hortons, we’re fortunate to have very loyal guests, many of whom visit us every day. We feel that an innovative card such as this not only provides guests added convenience, but is a great loyalty rewards solution offering instant redemption for their favourite Tim Hortons menu items,” said Tim Hortons COO David Clanachan, in a release. “This new card complements our strategy to actively purchase further technological innovation that help directly connect our guests with our brand.”

Tim Hortons will launch a national marketing campaign to support the loyalty program, which launches in May.

Brands Articles

SoFresh embraces its Canuck roots

A dairy alternative brand tries to make its U.S.-grown ingredients more Canadian

Plan Canada refreshes Gifts of Hope

Annual giving campaign positioned as perfect gift for the hard-to-shop-for

Amazon unveils a store with no checkout

Sensors register shoppers' items and automatically charge them to Amazon app

Wake-Ups return after 65-year advertising slumber

A caffeine pill with broad consumer market ambitions

Pickle Barrel shows local food some love

Why the Ontario casual dining brand upped its focus on fresh ingredients

Tourisme Montreal apologizes in advance

The city's 375th birthday celebrations will likely wake the neighbours all year

Baton Rouge introduces revamped restaurant format

Ontario location the first to get new look of 18 planned through 2018

The bear necessities of Freedom’s rebranding

With a new name and mascot, a challenger telco takes a softer approach

Air Miles backtracks on points cancellation plan

LoyaltyOne says legislative 'uncertainty' drove decision