VARENNES, Quebec — Jean Coutu Group has started off the new year in a new home.
The Quebec-based drug store operator has settled into its new headquarters and distribution center in Varennes, Quebec. The site is north of Longueuil, the location of the company’s previous headquarters, near Autoroute 30 on the south shore of Montreal.
The chain drug retailer had been based in the Longueuil industrial park site since 1976.
Built by contractor Montoni Group, Jean Coutu’s new facility occupies nearly 900,000 square feet, which is 50% larger than the company’s space in Longueuil. The facility includes a 245,800-square-foot, three-floor office space and 648,000 square feet of warehouse space, according to Montoni.
Jean Coutu staff began moving into the new headquarters in late October, and the distribution center became operational in January, according to Canam-Buildings, which also contributed to the project. The facility also has a training center, swimming pool, cafeteria, nursery and three-story atrium, with a walking trail and communal gardens outside that are available to employees, Canam said.
The $190 million (Canadian) project was announced in May 2013. Jean Coutu said at the time that its current facilities could no longer support the needs of its expanding drug store franchise network and that the new facility will enable the company to better serve its store network as well as operate more efficiently.
Jean Coutu broke ground on the new site in June 2014, with the distribution center section being built first and followed that August by the construction of the headquarters facility.
Currently, Jean Coutu’s retail network includes 416 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Santé and PJC Santé Beauté banners.