The Jean Coutu Group has inaugurated the 400th drug store in its franchise network.

Jean Coutu Group, 400th store, drug store, Canadian drug chain, Francois Coutu, Montreal, Cremazie, franchise network, store network, PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Santé, PJC Santé Beauté, pharmacies

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Jean Coutu Group marks opening of 400th store

August 21st, 2012

LONGUEUIL, Quebec – The Jean Coutu Group has inaugurated the 400th drug store in its franchise network.

The Canadian drug chain said it held a grand opening event on Tuesday for the 11,075-square-foot store, located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the Crémazie area of Montreal.

According to the company, the new store reflects the latest PJC Jean Coutu concept, featuring a prescription counter and pharmacy department with cutting-edge technology, a Passion for Beauty Boutique dedicated to cosmetics, a Photo Boutique featuring digital printing kiosks, a home delivery service and a postal counter.

"Maintaining our growth and keeping our position of leadership is essential," François Coutu, president and chief executive officer of Jean Coutu Group, said in a statement. "We are proud to bring into our network a new store that was laid out according to a state-of-the-art concept that will satisfy our customers by offering them a friendly shopping experience in an environment that is both modern and warm."

For the company's 2012 fiscal year ended March 3, the store network's revenue climbed 3.8% to just over $4 billion, including gains of 3.7% in the pharmacy and 3.9% in the front end. Same-store sales for fiscal 2012 rose 2.3%, and prescription count grew 5.5% on a comparable-store basis.

Jean Coutu's network opened 20 drug stores, including nine relocations, and significantly remodeled or expanded 28 stores during fiscal 2012, ending the year with 399 stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Santé and PJC Santé Beauté banners.

At the company's annual shareholder meeting last month, Coutu said expansion is a key objective for the current year, with 14 new pharmacies, four relocations, and 21 store expansion and renovation projects already under way or planned.