04/19/2013 12:42 EDT | Updated 06/19/2013 05:12 EDT

Retailer Canadian Tire to use BlackBerry smartphones as official device

TORONTO - Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. (TSX:CTC.A) has selected BlackBerry (TSX:BB) smartphones for its employees to use as their primary business device.

The retailer says employees from across its banners — including Canadian Tire, Mark's and FGL Sports — will use the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Canadian Tire says it will distribute several thousand of the smartphones to its staff in the coming months, including a mix of the BlackBerry Z10 and yet-to-be released BlackBerry Q10.

The deal is a win for BlackBerry, which has been rolling out its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and devices this year.

The company has seen its share of the market devoured by the iPhone and Android-powered smartphones in recent years.

The Q10, which includes a physical keyboard, is expected to be released by the end of the month.