10/04/2013 05:18 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Discount retailer Giant Tiger exploring options, including possible sale

OTTAWA - Discount retailer Giant Tiger Ltd. says it has decided to "explore its alternatives," including a possible sale of the national chain.

The company is profitable and growing and "not under any pressure to sell," Giant Tiger chief executive Andy Gross said in a statement Friday.

However, it said the company's largest shareholder, Gordon Reid, is looking for other opportunities after founding the chain more than 50 years ago.

"I and the entire team who built our company to be the best discount chain in Canada and in North America, are proud of our results, our current sales and profit growth in a stagnant market, and we are focused on ensuring a successful future for Giant Tiger," Reid, who is 80, said in a statement.

Giant Tiger, a private company, has more than 200 stores across Canada, including its first location in Ottawa's Byward Market.

The stores, which are franchised, operate under the trade names of Giant Tiger, Tigre Geant, GTXpress, Scott’s Discount and Chez Tante Marie.

The North West Company Inc. (TSX:NWC) operates 36 of the locations.