Coutu Says Eckerd Will Take a Lot of Work
By George Anderson
When Jean Coutu Group took over Brooks drugstores, it took five years to get the newly acquired stores up to spec. It will “only” take three years for the chain to achieve the same feat with the Eckerd chain.
Michael Coutu, chief executive officer of Jean Coutu Group, said of Eckerd: “We have a lot of work to do.”
According to the Canadian Press, Mr. Coutu offered a laundry list of items that need to be addressed, including shoplifting, store layouts, advertising and supply chain issues.
Shoplifting is a major cause of concern. In Eckerd, shoplifted items represent 3.2 percent of sales. At Brooks, the same number is one percent.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the future challenges/prospects for Jean Coutu Group/Eckerd?
Interestingly, the article on the Canadian Business Web site said Jean Coutu Group is not ruling out further acquisitions in the U.S. or Canada.
Any other businesses that might be acquired would have to be within reach of its current distribution network in Quebec or the Eastern U.S. –
George Anderson – Moderator