Jean Coutu Group was established in 1969. The company’s co-founder, Jean Coutu, started a pharmacy business, which he put up in the area of eastern Montreal.
In 1973, the company was incorporated and became known as Services Farmico. At this time, there were five locations in different parts of Montreal. Thirteen years after the company’s incorporation, Services Farmico became Jean Coutu Group, Inc. (also known as PJC). During this time, the company also became public.
In 1982, PJC entered New Brunswick’s market. A year after, it entered Ontario’s market. At the start of 1987, PJC began to acquire a number of companies. In the last 20 years, PJC has acquired 12 pharmacy outlets from Cloutier,16 outlets of Douglas Drug Incorporated, Cadieux Drugstores, 221 Brooks Drug Store outlets, Rite-Aid Drugstores, 8 Mayrand Drugstores and other retail properties. Most of these companies acquired by PJC are located in theUnited States.
In 1999, PJC was the first company to provide an online service for customers to refill their medications. A year after, this concept was expanded in Quebec, allowing customers to renew prescriptions over the telephone, using touch-tone technology.
In the years since PJC was founded, it has received several recognitions, which include “The Most Admired Company in Quebec” and “Canada’s Most Respected Corporations.” PJC was recognized seven times for being Quebec’s “Most Admired Company.”
Currently, PJC has over 360-franchised locations in the areas of Ontario,Quebec and New Brunswick. These stores operate under the PJC Santé Beauté, PJC Clinique and PJC Jean Coutu banners. Once, PJC was considered the second-biggest distributor, as well as retailer, of pharmaceutical and other related products in the area of North America. PJC’s US subsidiary, PJC USA Inc., once operated more than 2,000 stores in the United States. However, Rite Aid has purchased most of PJC’s American stores.
Aside from offering national brands in its stores, PJC also offers products from its private label “Personelle.” The stores sell a wide range of products like cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and paper products.
Headquarters: Longueuil, Quebec
Ownership Type: Public
Employees: 16,000 (as of 2008)
Demography: retail drug and grocery consumers