(Refiles to fix typo in first paragraph)
* Sees lucrative market opportunity in home appliances
* Begins selling refrigerators, washers, dryers
By S. John Tilak
TORONTO, June 28 Canadian Tire Corp (CTC.TO) (CTCa.TO) is pushing into the C$3 billion ($3.1 billion) a year large-appliance market to sustain sales growth as competition in Canada's retail industry heats up.
The retailer -- which already sells small appliances as well as automotive products, electronics, sports gear and other hard goods -- hopes its customer base will now linger at its ubiquitous stores a little longer to make pricier purchases.
The company said on Tuesday it has started selling refrigerators, washers, dryers and microwaves made by Inglis and Amana, units of Whirlpool (WHR.N).
The move means Canadian Tire will lock horns with the likes of home improvement chains such as Rona Inc RON.TO and Home Depot (HD.N) as well as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N).
Canadian retailers have been bracing for competition from U.S. retailer Target Corp (TGT.N), which plans to enter the market in 2013.
"The competitive landscape across Canada is intensifying. There's no question about that," said T.J. Flood, Canadian Tire's vice president of merchandising.
Toronto-based Canadian Tire's sights will first be on the value segment, which forms about C$1 billion of the large home appliance market.
The company said last month it will pay C$771 million to acquire Forzani Group Ltd (FGL.TO), Canada's No. 1 sporting goods retailer, in its biggest acquisition yet. [ID:nL3E7G91PE]
Canadian Tire's revenue rose 3.4 percent in 2010 after a 5 percent fall in 2009.
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by S. John Tilak; editing by Peter Galloway)