Q&A: Giant Tiger Launches ‘Carisma’ Line and Campaign

Popular Ottawa-based discount retail chain Giant Tiger recently launched a new exclusive women’s sleepwear, intimates, and basics brand called Carisma, and it’s already a hit among consumers. Giant Tiger hosted it’s first-ever Facebook Live event to ‘talk all things Carisma’ that was launched on “Galentine’s Day” on February 13 — , Galentine’s Day is a relatively new phenomenon where “ladies celebrate ladies”. 

The response to the campaign was exceptional — the company’s video has been viewed more than 40,000 times. The following is a Q&A with Karen Sterling, VP Marketing at Giant Tiger.   

Q: What made Giant Tiger choose the name ‘Carisma’ for its new women’s line? 

A: When we were creating the brand identity, we considered how women would want to feel wearing this collection. We wanted them to put on the pieces and immediately feel good. When you feel confident, it radiates outward. We understand the busy Canadian woman and her desire to feel great all day long.

Q: What can Canadian women expect from the new and exclusive women’s basics brand? 

A: Ultimately, we want Canadians to feel great about fashion without the guilt of overspending. Women can indulge in purchasing great sleepwear or a comfortable bra without compromising on value. At Giant Tiger, we demonstrate value by combining our low prices, our chic styling and our exceptional quality. All our pieces are on trend, they’re easy to mix-and-match and they’re available from small to 3X.

Q: What makes Carisma an “approachable” brand?

A: Carisma is approachable because it’s real, genuine and authentic. It works for our customers; they want quality fabrics that stand up to everyday wash and wear. Carisma “gets” Canadian women; the collection pulls together pieces that allow them to have fun or feel more sophisticated if they want to be. Women need a brand they can count on for whatever they’re feeling that day. We’ve tried to complement this approachability with a convenient and inviting in-store shopping experience dividing Carisma into three categories: intimates, sleepwear, and basics.

Q: Being the VP of Marketing, do you have any favourite Carisma pieces? What about the new brand speaks to you as a “modern, everyday woman”?

A: One of my favourites right now is our retro-chic 2-piece pyjama set. The matching top and bottoms feature the “peachy dream” softness of so many of our PJs; it’s just so comfortable. It’s important to note that our Carisma brand is available in all sizes, including plus. They are so affordable, too, and wash like a dream.  I’ve even bought them for my daughter and some of my friends! These pyjamas definitely give me a sense of Carisma.

Q: Carisma was launched in time for Galentine’s Day (February 13). Why was Galentine’s Day chosen talk about the new brand?

 A: Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating women and the power of female friendship. And Carisma is all about celebrating real Canadian women. It’s just such a natural fit. We also hosted an interactive Facebook Galentine’s Day event. It was a very successful event. To date, the video has been viewed over 40,000 times and the overall engagement has been over 34,000.

Q: Speaking of Galentine’s Day, do you yourself have one or more female friends who inspires and supports you? 

A: Hopefully, we all know people who are simply extraordinary to us. I am humbled by them, in awe of them and all that they accomplish, all that they generously share, and all that they do regardless of their circumstances. I cannot imagine my life without the inspiration, friendship, wisdom, support, laughter, blunt honesty and insight of the amazing women in my life.

Q: Giant Tiger has experienced significant fashion evolution over the last two years. Is there anything else that we can expect?

A: Of course! At Giant Tiger, we are always evolving and looking at how we can best meet the needs of our customers and communities. We are always asking for feedback from our customers and adjusting our strategy accordingly. It is this adaptability that is one of our key strengths.


Rapidly-expanding Giant Tiger was founded in 1961 in Ottawa’s Byward Market area, and has since grown to operate over 240 Canadian stores and employs over 8,300 ‘team members’. Stores carry categories such as family fashions, footwear, groceries, confectionary, pet food, cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, toys, and health/beauty products. The company’s strategy involves striving to lower prices through continued improvements to efficiency as well as maximizing buying power through economies of scale, as well as increasing market share in existing markets by modifying stores and assortment, based on local needs. The company continues to seek out new markets to further increase revenues via well-researched and planned expansion that involves opening new store locations.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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