Canadian Retail Chain: Metro Inc.

Metro Inc. as a business entity that started with selling groceries came into existence in the year 1947. The name of the founder of Metro Inc. is, Rolland Jeanneau. The Company first put up its operations in Verdun, Quebec. Today, most of the company’s retail stores are situated in Quebec and Ontario. The Company is listed in the stock exchange under the name, MRU (TSX). To date, the retail store has over 60,000 employs and gross sales for the company in 2013 amounted to amounted to $ 11.4 billion. The Company’s headquarters is in Montreal, Canada, and operates 302 supermarkets, drugs stores and discount stores located in Quebec. In Ontario, the Company operates several stores that deal in pharmaceuticals and food products. Metro Inc. operates mainly as a grocery and drugs (pharmaceutical) retail stores in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. In addition, Metro Inc. has also expanded its pharmaceutical business venture and it provides direct services to other institution. Such institutions for example include hospitals, corporate drug stores and nursing homes (Drake, 2002).

The organizational structure of Metro Inc.

Metro Inc. is a public limited company that operates in Canada. The Company is organized into a number of corporate branches under brand name, Metro Inc. For instance, the Quebec and Ontario branches operate under the different names (Metro Richelieu and Metro Ontario Inc.) respectively. In addition, the Company has two small organizational branches concerned with its pharmaceutical business. The two branches are McMahon and Super C. As the main Company, Metro Inc. has other subsidiaries that include Dominion, Food Basic and Clini Plus. Metro Inc. has 14 Board of Directors with Eric R. La Flèche as the President and CEO of the Company. On the other hand, Réal Raymond is the Chair of the Board. The Board is tasked with taking care of the shareholder’s interests and overall performance of the Company. Metro Inc. also has a management team that consists of 13 managers with different portfolios spread between Metro Ontario and Metro Richelieu Inc. In terms of enhancing governance, Metro Inc. has established three committees to oversee this process and they include the human resources committee, audit committee and the corporate governance and nominating committee (Drake, 2002).

The human resources committee consists of five independent Directors. Their responsibility involves submitting recommendations to the Board of Directors the policies related to compensation, human resources management and ethics. They also undertake risk management and submit their recommendations to the Board. Further, they are tasked with reviewing employee’s salary and other incentives. Other responsibilities of the committee include making recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the appointment of the Company’s CEO, President and other senior executives. In addition, the committee is tasked with reviewing and approving corporate objectives. The committee is also responsible for evaluating performance of senior executives that include the President and the CEO of the Company (Drake, 2002).

The audit committee also consists of six independent directors. Their mandate includes reviewing financial statements prior to public disclosure. They also verify whether the Company management has put in place mechanisms that comply with the regulations of internal controls and financial reporting. The committee further involves itself with examining appointments or replacement of senior directors within the audit department. Further, the committee is tasked with developing procedures for receiving, retaining and handling complaints related to accounting and other audit maters. The corporate governance and nominating committee on its part consists of five members. Their mandate includes developing and monitoring Metro Inc. policies associated with corporate governance. Accordingly, the committee ensures the Company complies with the guidelines related to corporate governance. They also prepare statements concerned with corporate governance practices in the Company. In Company’s organizational structure, there are several principals, but the President and CEO is the most important in the Company. On the other hand, while there are several senior vice presidents, the most significant is the Chief Financial Officer, Francois Thibault and Christian Bourbonniere who is in charge of the Ontario and Quebec branches of Metro Inc. (Tutunjian, 2006).


Because of the agility of the Company’s members since the year 1947, Metro Inc. has continued to experienced tremendous growth. At present, the Company is at the helm of the Canadian food industry. Metro Inc. came into existence in 1947, and was started by a few retailers with interest in the grocery retail business. The idea was informed by the need to provide customers with products at similar prices to those of established food chains. 25 years later, the Company operated as les Marches d’Aliments Metro Itee where, it operated as a supermarket. In 1986, the Company expanded its business by venturing into the pharmaceutical business by acquiring McMahon Distributeur Pharmaceutique Inc. Similarly, in 1986, Metro Inc. launched their IPO (Initial Public Offer) at the Montreal Stock Exchange in November 1986. In 1987, the Company bought La Ferme Carnaval Inc. that owned 14 outlets. This was a major breakthrough for Metro Inc. in terms of establishing their discount food stores. Further, leasing of 48 grocery stores from Steinberg in 1992 improved Metro Inc. business prospects in the Canadian food industry. In 1999, Metro Inc. acquired Loeb and this helped in improving the Company’s expansion in Ontario because, Loeb had a network of about 41 supermarkets. Later in 2005, the Company also purchased the shares of A&P Canada at the value of $ 1.7 billion. The acquisition enabled Metro Inc. to move second in terms of market share in Quebec and Ontario (Tutunjian, 2005).

In order to consolidate its conventional food stores under one banner, the Company invested $200million to update its logo in 2008.Further acquisitions by the Company took place in 2009, where Metro Inc. acquired additional food stores from GP foods. As a result, the Company consolidated its market share in Eastern Quebec. In 2011, Metro Inc. partnered with Marche Adonis that engage in fresh products, Mediterranean products and prepared meals. At the time of the partnership deal, Marche Adonis had already established itself that the best ethnic food retailer in Montreal. The merger enabled Metro Inc. to hold a 55% share margin in Marche Adonis. In the year 2014, the Company signed a partnership deal with Premier Moisson bakery. This partnership ensured that Metro Inc. differentiated itself from other bakeries. Today, Metro Inc. is ranked as the third largest retail store in Canada that deals in groceries (Wright, 2014).

Financial performance

In the year 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Company’s total revenue stood at $ 11,3, 11.6 and 11.4 billion respectively. In the same periods, the Company’s liabilities in 2011 and 2012 stood at $2.4 billion and $2billion in 2013.On the other hand, the Company recorded a net profit margin of 3.4% in 2011, 4.1% in 2012 and 6.3% in 2013 (Wright, 2014).

Target market

The Company targets the food and pharmaceuticals market in both Quebec and Ontario. In order to penetrate the food industry in both provinces, Metro Inc. operates under four subsidiary companies that include Food Basics, Super C, Metro Plus and Metro. As a result, the Company provides consumers with a wide variety of fresh and grocery products at affordable prices. The Company also targets market for baked products and ready-made foods for the convenience of their customers in regions such as Quebec. In addition, the Company also targets the market for sought after and high-end products. The Company also target customers who cannot afford high prices for food products. Through Food Basics, a subsidiary of Metro Inc., customers can buy their products at a discount. On the other hand, Metro Inc. relies on McMahon Inc. to distribute pharmaceutical products. To penetrate the pharmaceutical market, Metro Inc. through its subsidiary, manage to supply pharmaceutical products directly to different institutions that include hospitals, treatment centres and pharmacies (Fitzgerald, 2009).

Product Assortment

Metro Inc. mainly specializes in the food and pharmaceutical products.  In the food sector, the products that Metro Inc. avails to customers include grocery products such as fruits and vegetables.  Other food products that the Company sells to consumers include bakery products, prepared meals, and dairy products. In addition, The Company’s food sector also deals in selling frozen food to customers. On the other hand, the pharmaceutical products offered to clients by the Company include orthopedic equipment and organizes health days for customers. The Company through its subsidiary, CliniPlus, also promotes the idea of neighbourhood pharmacy. In addition, Metro Inc. also provides professional services that include health reminders, syringe disposal and medication to customers. They also provide drive-through services in some selected locations (Drake, 2002).

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