Retail News Breaks Archives
Jean Coutu Group to relocate to new headquarters
May 29th, 2013
LONGUEUIL, Quebec – The Jean Coutu Group plans to relocate its headquarters and distribution center in Longueuil, Quebec, to larger, more modern facilities that will be built in Varennes.
The Canadian drug chain said Wednesday that construction of the Varennes facilities, which will total 800,000 square feet, is slated to start in 2014. The 3 million-square-foot site is located north of Longueuil near Autoroute 30 on the south shore of Montreal.
According to the company, the space currently used by Jean Coutu Group operations, located in Longueuil's industrial park since 1976, can no longer support the needs of its growing franchised drug store network.
The new facilities, which represent a $190 million (Canadian) investment, will allow the Jean Coutu Group to operate more efficiently and better serve its store network, the company said.
"In a context of continued growth, it became essential for us to expand our facilities, which was impossible on the site we presently occupy because of the lack of space," François Coutu, president and chief executive officer of Jean Coutu Group, said in a statement. "The facilities in Varennes will be at the cutting edge of technology, guaranteeing high standards of productivity and enhanced performance. This project also confirms our determination to pursue our efforts to grow while offering a pleasant and secure working environment to all our employees."
Plans call for Jean Coutu Group to begin transferring its Longueuil operations to the new site in early 2016. Then the 1,023 employees of the Jean Coutu Group and its Information Technology Center (Rx Center) will be gradually moved to the new facilities.
Jean Coutu Group's retail network includes 407 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the banners PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Santé and PJC Santé Beauté. Most of the company's revenue stems from merchandise sales to franchisees through its two distribution centers (in Longueuil, Quebec, and Hawkesbury, Ontario) and from franchising activities. The company also owns Pro Doc Ltd., a Québec-based manufacturer of generic drugs.
In its annual report, Jean Coutu Group said it plans to open or relocate 17 stores and renovate or expand 32 stores in fiscal 2014, resulting in total selling square footage of the network of nearly 3.15 million square feet by the fiscal year-end.
During the 2013 fiscal year ended March 2, the company opened 16 stores, relocated six stores, remodeled or expanded 12 stores, and closed two stores, finishing the year with total selling space of 3.04 million square feet, up from 2.97 million square feet the previous year.