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

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. (TSXPJC) is a Canadian drugstore chain headquartered in Longueuil, Quebec. They have over 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 corporately owned drug stores, which have been sold to Rite Aid.

It's United States subsidiary, Warwick, Rhode Island based Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA Inc., used to primarily operate along the east coast, trading as Brooks Pharmacy in New England and Eckerd Pharmacy from Upstate New York and Pennsylvania south to Georgia. They sold off their US operations in a deal with Rite Aid. Coutu 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 would be sold to CVS/pharmacy.) From 1999 to 2004 the chain was the second-fastest growing retailer in the world.[2] On August 24, 2006 Rite Aid announced that it would acquire 1,858 Jean Coutu's Eckerd and Brooks US operations for $1.45bn in cash and issuing stock, giving Jean Coutu a 32% equity stake in Rite Aid.[2] Rite Aid announced the acquisition completed on June 4, 2007.[3]

The company is also known for its private line "Personnelle", which produces a wide variety of products such as cosmetics, papers, pharmaceutical products, etc. The company was co-founded in 1969 by the namesake, as a pharmacy in the East end of Montreal. In 1973 Jean Coutu bought a warehouse and started the franchising operations that eventually made the company a pharmaceuticals retail conglomerate.

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