Celebrity Bios

Jean Coutu – A Pharmaceutical Tycoon And His MoneyBags

Jean Coutu belongs to the doctorate field, being among the top twenty wealthiest Canadian pharmacists and people in business. In addition, Coutu appertains to Canada. He initiated his first Pharmacy in 1969, expanding the network chain mainly worldwide. Moreover, Coutu made billions of dollars through differentiation in the pharmaceutical industry. He amalgamated with the USA’s Rite Aid shops, making it the third-largest Pharmacy on the earth. Let’s explore the medical Billionaire’s voyage!

Jean Coutu Biography 

Total Net Worth$3 Billion
Real NameJean Coutu
Born OnMay 29, 1927
Place Of BirthMontreal Canada
Updated: ✅

Early Life

Jean Coutu was born in Montreal, Canada, on May 29, 1927. He is a Canadian pharmacist transformed into a successful businessman. Coutu was born to a pediatrician father who was a family doctor too. His father worked in a district of Montreal. Coutu studied medicine in his early education and eventually achieved a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics from Universite De Montreal in 1949. In addition, Coutu enrolled in the pharmacy degree and graduated from Universite De Montreal in 1953. Moreover, he received a Pharmacist license from the college of pharmacists of Quebec.

Jean Coutu Profession

When Jean Coutu was a student, he worked as a pharmacy clerk. Eventually, he got a manager position at one of the Pharmacie Leduc branches that prompted at the top of the Leduc network. He always wanted to do something extraordinary in the industry.

As soon as he graduated, he wanted to become an associate of the Leduc Pharmacie alongside his other young colleagues, but they faced a refusal. With sheer determination, Coutu purchased three drugstores and became the manager and shareholder of Jean Locus pharmacy. Contrarily he always wanted to open a drugstore with his name label but could not do so in 1964.

The Troubles Of Jean Coutu Group

The reason behind the hurdles was the by-laws of the Quebec college of Pharmacy. Initially, Coutu attempted to amend the rules with the help of the Lesage government. After a long struggle, he finally opened his first Pharmacy under the label ‘Services Farmico‘ in 1973. In addition, almost five branches of the Pharmacy already exist in Montreal. After 13 years, he changed the name of the Pharmacy to ‘Jean Coutu Group Inc.’

In addition, the Pharmacy reached out to the New Brunswick and Ontario markets in 1982 and 1983, respectively. In 1993, Jean got the officer position for Canada’s order and Quebec’s national order. Moreover, he was the CEO of the Pharmacy until 2002 and then again from 2005 to 2007. The Jean Coutu Group prospered in the industry, breaking through multiple competitors.


Being a successful pharmacist, Jean founded the ‘Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation’ collaboratively. It served numerous good causes, including Poverty, domestic abuse, educational issues, and campaigns against drug addiction. In addition, the foundation pitched in for several organizations, such as ‘Autism Research‘, ‘Foundation Le Pilier’,’SunYouth’, ‘The Montreal Children’s Hospital’, ‘Mira’, and ‘Centraide’.

History Of Jean Coutu Group

Jean Coutu and Louis Michaud collaboratively cofounded The Jean Coutu Group in 1969. Initially, it was a simple pharmacy in the east of Montreal. It is a 400 franchised location Drugstore chain located in Canada and headquartered in Varennes, Quebec. The labels of PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Sante banners, and PJC Clinique are in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec, respectively, where Coutu initially expanded the network.

In the early 1990s, the Coutu group purchased pharmacies in the USA. The renowned Rite Aid shops in the US were merged with the Pharmacy, making it the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical chain. Over the past two decades, The Jean Coutu Group gained twelve Cloutier pharmacy outlets, 221 outlets of the Brooks Drug Store, Rite Aid Drugstore, Retail Properties, and much more.

The Edges Of The Jean Coutu Group

The group broke through the competitor line using intelligent tactics to stand out. It was the first Canadian online service provider to allow customers to avail of multiple features without visiting the drugstores. Apart from that, Jean Coutou did not sell only pharma products but cheaply priced ‘personnel’ items, including school stocks, papers, cosmetics, and other things the rest of the pharmacies did not have. Moreover, this Pharmacy was open 24/7, which was another considerable edge. Customer retention came in through these strong points introduced by the Jean group.

In addition, the need of the hour of customers to get advice and products from the same place got fulfilled as well. In 1967, Jean, alongside his partner Louis started Farmateria stores providing discounts on hygiene and beauty products. Many people copied this concept, but it was a huge success. With multiple franchises in Quebec, The Jean group receives much revenue from here and in the USA. Since the 1980s, it has become one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Quebec and a public company listed under the Toronto stock exchange PJC.A.TO.

The Jean Coutu Group Deal

In 2007, Coutu marketed the Eckerd and Brooks brand to Rite Aid drugstore with a $3.4 billion deal at a 20% stake. Similarly, in 2013, the company became the US drug store’s foremost shareholder. The same year, the company announced its head office shift from Longueuil to Varennes in may. In 2016, he created the new building for $190 Million. While in September 2017, Coutu announced that a Canadian supermarket chain wanted to acquire the company for Canadian $4.50 Billion. Eventually, the contract was closed in 2018, with Coutu getting 8% equity. Similarly, in 2013 ended, Coutu sold the Rite Aid deal and the American stores back to them. The company won corporate titles seven times in a row, such as ‘Canada’s most respected Corporations’ and ‘The Most Admired Company In Quebec’.

Jean Coutu Achievements

Circle of Great Entrepreneurs of Quebec (2019)
Commander of the Ordre de Montréal (2016)
Canadian Business Hall of Fame (1999)
Officer of the Order of Canada (1994)
Officer of the National Order of Quebec (1993)
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, Concordia University (1991)
Velan Award, Rotary Club of Montreal (1989)

Jean Coutu Net Worth

The Canadian richest pharmacist and businessman acquires a net worth of $3 Billion. He got on the list of billionaires through his pharmaceutical company. Gradually, with a single drugstore, he expanded his pharmaceutical group to massive locations. With so many innovations in the pharmaceutical industry, Jean Coutu established the foundation for a technologically strong healthcare industry. From a mere medical student serving as a clue to the richest pharmacist on the globe, Coutu came a long way, building pathways for the future generation to be creative and different in whatever they do.

Moreover, you can also read the article by Mexican-American Businessman Arturo Moreno.

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