MONTREAL, September 1, 2023 — METRO, a partner in the daily lives of Quebecers, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. At the heart of its history lies a human approach, a deep understanding of its customers coupled with unparalleled operational excellence and a real commitment to making a difference in the communities. For this occasion, METRO wishes to share its journey through its achievements in nourishing the health and well-being of communities.
Founded in 1947 in Lasalle by 19 independent grocers who wanted to form a buying group, METRO has today become a leader in the food and pharmacy sectors in Quebec and Ontario thanks to constant organic growth and strategic acquisitions, including the largest, The Jean Coutu Group in 2018.
Over the decades, METRO has constantly innovated and evolved to meet the changing needs of the industry, while maintaining its authenticity. The ongoing support and commitment of local artisans and producers, retailer and pharmacists owners, employees, communities and customers are the pillars of its success, and enable METRO to celebrate this historic milestone. More than ever, the company is looking to the future, and is committed to a dynamic local economy, sustainable development and the health of future generations.
A solid, successful Quebec company, METRO now has 975 food stores and 645 pharmacies, and employs over 95,000 people. Over the course of a year, more than 97% of Quebec households shop in its food and pharmacy networks.
Sustaining growth and remaining competitive
To exceed customer expectations and win their long-term loyalty, METRO has invested nearly a billion dollars in recent years to modernize its supply chain. From a single 300 sq. ft. distribution centre in 1947, the company now has 15 distribution centres in Quebec and Ontario, and will inaugurate a new one in Terrebonne next fall for its fresh and frozen products. METRO is the only food retailer whose head office is located in Quebec, giving it a prime position to see the needs of Quebecers evolve every day for the past 75 years.
It is this knowledge of the communities it serves, combined with the solid expertise of its teams, that enabled METRO to launch this spring the largest loyalty coalition in Quebec, the Moi rewards program, an evolution of metro&moi deployed in 2010. This major step in the company's overall digital strategy will enable it to respond even more effectively to customers' needs with personalized offers, capitalizing on the complementary nature of its food and pharmacy networks.
Generating sustainable benefits
METRO is dedicated to contributing to the economic and social well-being of its communities. The company has been committed to corporate responsibility for over 13 years. Building on its tradition of commitment since its creation in 1947, METRO's ambition is to help reduce social inequalities, particularly in the areas of food and health, through a variety of initiatives. For example, One more bite, METRO's flagship initiative in the fight against food waste, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, makes it possible to donate unsold quality products from participating banners in Quebec and Ontario to local food banks. From 2016 to 2022, this program recovered and redistributed over 23 million kilograms of food, the equivalent of nearly 45 million meals. In addition, over $36 million were donated to various causes over the same period.
Highlights of its history
|1947||Creation of Lasalle Stores Ltd. by 19 independent grocers|
|1952||Creation of the Groupe des épiciers Metro, a division of Les Épiceries Lasalle Groceteria ltée|
The name METRO is inspired by Mayor Jean Drapeau's project for the Montreal metro.
|1972||The company becomes Les Marchés d'Aliments Metro ltée|
The first stores offering the supermarket concept are opened
|1982||Metro merges with Épiciers Unis to become Metro Richelieu|
|1986||Metro-Richelieu listed on the Montreal Stock Exchange|
The purchase of McMahon Distributeur Pharmaceutique Inc. takes the company into the pharmaceutical distribution sector
|1987||Acquisition of Ferme Carnaval inc. which owns 14 Super Carnaval outlets, thereby achieving a major breakthrough in the discount food store segment.|
|1992||Acquisition of 48 Steinberg grocery stores that further strengthens the company’s presence in the Greater Montreal area|
|1999||Acquisition of the Loeb banner along with its two warehouses in Ottawa and a network of 41 supermarkets in Eastern and Northeastern Ontario|
|2005||Acquisition of all the shares of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Company of Canada (A&P Canada), placing METRO second in terms of market share in each of the two largest Canadian markets|
|2009||Acquisition of 15 GP food stores, consolidating its position in Eastern Quebec|
|2011||Signature of a partnership agreement with Marché Adonis, acquiring 55% of Marché Adonis and its distributor Phoenicia Products|
|2014||Signature of a partnership agreement with Boulangerie Première Moisson, acquiring 75% of its capital|
|2017||METRO acquires remaining 45% shares in Marché Adonis and its distributor Phoenicia Products|
|2018||Acquisition of The Jean Coutu Group|
|2019||Acquisition of the remaining shares of Boulangerie Première Moisson|
About METRO Inc.
With annual sales of more than $19 billion, METRO Inc. is a food and pharmacy leader in Québec and Ontario, providing employment to more than 95,000 people. Its purpose is to Nourish the health and well-being of our communities. As a retailer, franchisor, distributor, manufacturer, and provider of eCommerce services, the company operates or services a network of 975 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, and 645 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Food Basics Pharmacy banners. For more details, visit corpo.metro.ca.