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Alimentation Couche-Tard

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. ("Couche-Tard" means "goes to bed late" in French) is the largest Canadian convenience store retailer, operating or franchising over 5,000 stores across Canada, the United States, and in other countries. It operates primarily as Couche-Tard in Quebec, Mac's in Ontario and western Canada, and Circle K in Atlantic Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere, although a number of secondary franchised brands are also used.

Headquartered in the Montreal suburb of Laval, Quebec, Couche-Tard has roughly 40,000 employees and had revenue of $10.2 billion (US dollars), and net earnings of $196.2 million (US dollars) in the 2006 fiscal year.

Overview

There are 581 corporate stores in Quebec under the names "Couche-Tard" and "Dépanneur 7 jours", as well as 298 affiliated stores such as "Tabatou". In Ontario, there are 605 corporate stores and 214 affiliated stores, and in Western Canada, 295 corporate stores and 71 affiliates operated under the names "Mac's", "Mike's Mart", "Becker's", "Daisy Mart" and "Winks". The flagship Couche-Tard and Mac's stores, as well as some older Winks outlets, prominently feature a distinctive anthropomorphic red, winking owl. This "night owl" logo was inherited from Provi-Soir / Winks when it was absorbed.

The chain's current status in Quebec is the result of the consolidation of several major convenience store chains in that province during the 1990s. In 1994, Couche-Tard, already a significant convenience-store operator in Quebec, acquired the La Maisonée and Perette chains, as well as Mac's stores in Quebec. The majority of these stores were subsequently rebranded "Dépan-Escompte Couche-Tard". In 1996, the chain added the Provi-Soir chain previously owned by Provigo. In 1998, most Dépan-Escompte Couche-Tard and Provi-Soir stores were rebranded as simply "Couche-Tard", incorporating the current version of the night-owl logo.

Similarly, Silcorp had consolidated several of the largest Ontario convenience-store chains, such as Mac's and Becker's, under its ownership before being itself acquired by Couche-Tard, which had previously acquired Winks as part of its purchase of Provi-Soir, in 1999. As in Quebec, other corporate banners such as Becker's and Mike's Mart are slowly being phased out in favour of the dominant Mac's brand, although new franchised stores are still being opened under the Winks and Daisy Mart brands.

After making some tentative moves in the U.S. under the Mac's brand in the early 2000s, Couche-Tard acquired the Circle K chain from ConocoPhillips in 2003, promptly rebranding its existing U.S. locations to the better-known Circle K moniker. The Circle K brand is also franchised in Asia and elsewhere. Couche-Tard additionally holds the master franchise for Dunkin' Donuts in Quebec.

Irving Oil stores

Many Couche-Tard locations are gas stations co-branded with Irving Oil. The first stage of this partnership began in 2001 in Quebec. Both companies contributed locations to the partnership: some had convenience stores that previously operated under Irving's "Marché Mainway" banner, while others previously sold fuel under the Couche-Tard brand. All these locations now have Couche-Tard convenience stores and Irving-branded fuel.

The partnership expanded in 2008, as Irving leased its remaining Bluecanoe and Mainway convenience stores to Couche-Tard, expanding the latter chain's reach into Atlantic Canada and New England. These locations are now in the process of being rebranded as Circle K stores. Irving continues to own the buildings and property, and supplies Irving-branded fuel to these stations.

Corporate governance

Current members of the board of directors of Alimentation Couche-Tard are: Alain Bouchard, Jacques D'Amours, Roger Desrosiers, Jean Élie, Richard Fortin, Josée Goulet, Roger Longpré, Réal Plourde, Jean-Pierre Sauriol, and Jean Turmel.

External links

References

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