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The Jean Coutu Group posts 6.1% in Q2 revenue gains

BY Michael Johnsen

VARENNES, Quebec — The Jean Coutu Group on Thursday reported revenue gains of 6.1% to $596.8 million. Jean Coutu attributed the growth to strong overall market growth that overcame the deflationary impact associated with increased generic dispensing.

"During the second quarter, network retail sales and front-end sales of our distribution centers showed a noticeable increase despite a still very competitive environment," stated Francois Coutu, president and CEO The Jean Coutu Group. "We will continue to make the necessary efforts to promote retail sales growth and maintain our [market] leadership."

For the quarter ended Sept. 2, on a same-store basis the PJC network's retail sales increased by 4%, with pharmacy same-store sales up 4.6% and front-end comparable sales up 3.4%. Same-store sales of OTC medicines, which represented 8.5% of total retail sales, increased by 5.5%.

Generic drugs reached 72% of prescriptions during the quarter, compared with 71.3% of prescriptions for the comparable period of the previous fiscal year.

Earlier this month, Metro announced a deal to acquire the Jean Coutu Group for $3.6 billion, creating for a combined food and pharmacy retailer with annual sales of $12.8 billion. As part of the deal, Metro will acquire more than 400 Canadian drug stores and a distribution center.

Metro's existing pharmacy distribution and franchising activities will be combined with those of the Jean Coutu Group, which will operate as a stand-alone division of Metro with its own management team led by Francois Coutu.

The combined business will have an overall network of more than 1,300 stores in Canada, with 677 drug stores.

 

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Southeastern Grocers expands Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarket banners

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Southeastern Grocers on Thursday announced the continued expansion of its Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarket banners, with eight new stores throughout Florida. Specifically, SEG will open five new Fresco y Mas stores in South Florida and three new Harveys locations in West Florida, making the banners the fastest growing in the company.

“The unprecedented success we have witnessed over the past year at our Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarket banners is a clear indicator that we are providing localized shopping experiences that resonate with our customers,” stated Anthony Hucker, president and CEO SEG. “Rather than relying on one store model, we are entrenching ourselves in the communities we serve to better understand each unique landscape and our customers’ shopping habits.”

The company’s Fresco y Mas format caters to the Hispanic community with the addition of amenities such as a full-service Latin butcher, authentic prepared foods and a Latin-style cafe. The first Fresco y Mas location opened in June, 2016. The addition of five new locations expands the banner to 23 stores throughout the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Meanwhile, Harveys Supermarkets is a value-oriented grocer that first opened in 1924. The expansion brings the Harveys format to 80 locations across Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

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ECRM names 9 Merchant Team of the Year winners

BY David Salazar

SOLON, Ohio — ECRM has recognized nine retailers for their work in sourcing, merchandising and supplier collaboration as part of its second annual Merchant Team of the Year awards effort. The winners span 10 categories across the food, drug, mass and value channels.

To choose winners, suppliers received ballots across 10 categories and voted based on a list of retailers selected based on past sales performance in those categories. The voting was based on retailers who showed excellence in new product launches, product sourcing, supplier relations, collaborative partnerships and joint business planning practices.

“We congratulate the winners of the 2017 Merchant Team of The Year Awards,” ECRM SVP retail Wayne Bennett said. “In today’s highly competitive retail environment, our retail winners across 10 product categories are focused on strong supplier partnerships routed in co-creation and collaboration to grow sales.”

The winners are:

• Ahold USA: frozen
• Albertsons: own brands grocery
• CVS: beauty
• Kroger: beer and wine
• Kroger: pet
• Meijer: health care
• Sam's Club: home and housewares
• Target: school and office supplies
• Walgreens: own brand HBC
• Walmart: candy

In the coming months, ECRM will feature Q&As with these retailers’ merchandising leadership on its website and social media.

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