Jean Coutu Group

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Jean Coutu Group Inc.
Public (TSXPJC.A)
Industry Drug Stores
Headquarters Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Francois J. Coutu
Number of employees
16,000 (2008)[1]
A Jean Coutu pharmacy in Shediac, New Brunswick.

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. is a Canadian drugstore chain headquartered in Longueuil, Quebec. The main distribution warehouse is located in Longueuil, Quebec, however it also has a large distribution warehouse in Hawkesbury, Ontario. While Jean Coutu oversees the Hawkesbury distribution centre, the employees employed there currently work for DB Ontario inc. It has more than 360 franchised locations in New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec under the PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique and PJC Santé Beauté banners. The company was once the second-largest distributor and retailer of pharmaceuticals and related products in North America, with nearly 2,200 drug stores. Its American stores have been sold to Rite Aid.

The company is also known for its private line "Personnelle", which produces a wide variety of products such as cosmetics, papers, and pharmaceutical products.


The headquarters of Jean Coutu Group in Longueuil, Quebec.

The company was co-founded in 1969 by Jean Coutu and Louis Michaud, as a pharmacy in the east end of Montreal.

The company became incorporated in 1973 under the name Services Farmico, enticed by the five branches already set up in Montreal. The name was changed 13 years later to its current name, the Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. and was put on the stock exchange. In 1982 it entered the New Brunswick market and then the Ontario market in 1983. Beginning in 1987, the company began a series of acquisitions that continues. Over the past 20 years, the Jean Coutu Group has acquired Cadieux drugstores, twelve Cloutier Pharmacy outlets, sixteen Douglas Drug Inc. outlets, 221 outlets of the Brooks Drug Store, Rite Aid drugstores, retail properties, eight Mayrand drugstores, 19 Cumberland stores and many more in the United States. The Jean Coutu Group was the first in Canada to set up an online service that allows customers to refill their prescriptions, then a year later expanded this concept in Quebec by having the same system but that could be done over the telephone. Some of the titles this corporation has earned include “Canada’s Most Respected Corporations”, and “The Most Admired Company in Quebec”, which it has won seven times.[2]

With the majority of its franchises in Quebec, it is the province from which it receives most of its revenue, although it has also gotten a great deal of profit from the United States. The main competition are Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal-Mart, Familiprix, Brunet and Uniprix.

Since the end of the 1980s, the corporation has merged and acquired much of its competition. It has become one of the leading companies in Quebec and has been growing throughout the other provinces and into the United States because of its successful integration of acquisitions. There are many different trademarks and they are continuously increasing due to these mergers. Jean Coutu is a public company and is listed under PJC.A.TO. on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Jean Coutu Group USA[edit]

Coutu's U.S. subsidiary, Warwick, Rhode Island-based Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA Inc., operated primarily along the east coast, under the Brooks Pharmacy banner in New England and Eckerd Pharmacy from Upstate New York and Pennsylvania south to Georgia. The U.S. operations were sold off in a deal with Rite Aid. Coutu had purchased Brooks in 1994 from the now-defunct Revco drug chain. (Revco had acquired Brooks a few months earlier as part of its acquisition of Hook's-SupeRx, Inc, once a large operator of several pharmacy chains.)

In mid-2004, Coutu acquired more than half of the Eckerd store network (mainly units along the eastern seaboard) from department store retailer J.C. Penney. It continued to operate those stores under the Eckerd name. (The remainder of Eckerd's stores were sold to CVS/pharmacy.) From 1999 to 2004 the chain was the second-fastest growing retailer in the world. On August 24, 2006 Rite Aid announced that it would acquire 1,858 Jean Coutu's Eckerd and Brooks U.S. operations for $1.45bn in cash and issuing stock, giving Jean Coutu a 32% equity stake in Rite Aid.[3] Rite Aid announced the acquisition completed on June 4, 2007.[4]

Main competitors[edit]


  1. ^ "Company Profile for Jean Coutu Group Inc (CA;PJC.A)". Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  2. ^ The Jean Coutu Group, 2008, “History”
  3. ^
  4. ^

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