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The Beginnings of Canac-Marquis Grenier
In December 1981, the merger of the family-owned companies of Jos Grenier, founded in 1875, and Louis Canac-Marquis, founded in 1878, created Canac-Marquis Grenier. By this time, the business had already established itself at the forefront of hardware distribution in the Quebec City region with a total of five stores. Beginning in 1984, with its ongoing commitment to improving its place in the market, Canac acquired the stores of Baptiste Touchatou in Charlesbourg, Vanier, and Saint-Romuald.
Acquisitions by Groupe Laberge
In November 1985, Groupe Laberge, owner of Quincaillerie Laberge hardware store, acquired the total assets of Canac-Marquis Grenier. In 1989, Groupe Laberge purchased the Centre de bricolage Chez Tôle hardware store, and in 1993, the two Matériaux Audet stores (L’Ancienne-Lorette and Henri-Bourassa) joined the chain.hain.
Acquisition of a Distribution Center
In order to support and carry out such an expansion, Canac built its own distribution center in 1995 in L’Ancienne-Lorette. With the integration of new computerized resources, daily store supply became possible. Incidentally, the company’s expansion and the increase in commercial offer would lead to another expansion of the distribution center in January 2005, totalling a surface of 145,000 square feet.
Canac Expands in Quebec and Develops Western Part of the Province
Since the acquisition by Groupe Laberge, the company’s expansion has focused on opening new modern hardware stores and renovating existing stores to better adapt them to the needs and expectations of today’s consumers.
Several new stores have opened their doors since Groupe Laberge’s acquisition of the company. Lévis (1998), Sainte-Foy (2000), Beauport (2001), L’Ancienne Lorette (2001), and Charlesbourg (2004) on Rue Bernier have all consolidated Groupe Laberge’s presence in the Quebec City region. In 2005, the store in Saint-Romuald was relocated in order to expand its premises. In 2006, the Vanier store underwent important renovations, and in spring 2008, a new store in Val-Bélair opened. 2010 started off strong with the opening of a brand-new store in Saint-Nicolas, unique among our stores in the region for its LEED-certified building standard. During this same year, the Charlesbourg store (LOUIS XIV) underwent major renovations, much to the delight of its customers. The L’Ancienne-Lorette store was expanded and completely renovated in 2013, while the Beauport store underwent similar renovations in spring 2015.
With the opening of the Victoriaville store, built in 2002 and relocated in 2010 to offer more surface area and materials, the new stores in Saint-Georges (2005), Chicoutimi (2006), Trois-Rivières (2007), Sherbrooke (2007), Cap-de-la-Madeleine (2009), Jonquière (2011), and Drummondville (2012) have all opened their doors. The chain now includes several stores outside the Quebec City region. Also in 2010, Groupe Laberge acquired two stores from Groupe Gaston Côté, one in Cowansville and the other in Rock Forest. The Rock Forest store opened in 2013, while the Cowansville store was completely rebuilt and opened in April 2014. The new store in Rimouski opened in November 2014, becoming the first Canac hardware store in the Bas-St-Laurent region. In the summer of 2015, the Henri-Bourassa store was demolished to make way for a new store reflecting the company’s current image. In the spring of 2016, Charlesbourg customers can finally discover this new renovation center and find a wide selection of products at low prices. In October of the same year, it was the Vanier store on Boulevard Pierre-Bertrand's turn to get a makeover. Canac reclaimed the yard and the adjacent building it owned, which allowed for a major expansion of the outdoor materials warehouse and the construction of a complete new garden center.
It is in Beauharnois that Canac chose to build its first store in the Montreal region. The 24th store of the banner is located in Plaza Beauharnois, at the corner of Highway 30. Opened in May 2016, the store, whose interior has been completely redesigned, meets the needs of a very diversified clientele. The chain continues to expand by making its expertise and outstanding consulting services known to the population of Granby and the surrounding area. The construction of the 25th shop, which saw its first customers in the spring of 2017, allows Canac to take part in Granby’s dynamism in its own way. The addition of this store contributes to consolidating and asserting Canac’s leadership position in the Eastern Townships. After several months of waiting, the Saint-Hubert store, in the Longueuil borough, welcomed its customers in November 2017.
Distribution Center in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures
No longer able to keep up with demand, a brand-new distribution center opened its doors in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures in 2007. This distribution centre, equipped with new state-of-the-art equipment, is one of the most efficient in the country. With its 250,000 square feet of surface, this building ensures the company’s enormous growth potential and unparalleled ease of supply. It allows Canac to buy goods directly from the manufacturer, regardless of its origin, and distribute them directly to stores at lower costs. Unbeatable prices is one of the cornerstones of Canac’s mission.
A New Name
Over the years, customers have come to know Canac-Marquis Grenier. Some may have even appropriated their Canac and familiarly use the name when referring to their hardware store. So, in 2010, the company’s management team decided to update the company’s identity by renaming the chain CANAC. This new identity allows the company to be better equipped for its future growth and to facilitate brand positioning among the public, which has a positive impact on all aspects of the company’s marketing strategy.
New Distribution Center in Drummondville
In December 2014, management announced the acquisition of land in Drummondville for the construction of a new distribution center. From its opening in early 2016, this new 350,000-square-foot distribution center will supply the ten stores west of Victoriaville: Cowansville, Rock Forest, Sherbrooke, Drummondville, Victoriaville, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Trois-Rivières, Granby, Saint-Hubert and Beauharnois. This distribution center’s critical location ensures fast and efficient transportation logistics. With this new construction, Canac is doing everything possible to support the expansion strategy established in the western part of the province. Expansion work was carried out in 2019 to double the total area of the building, which now covers 560,000 square feet of land.
2018 gets off to a strong start with the press conference announcing the purchase of the land of the former Alcan Rio Tinto aluminum smelter in Shawinigan. As soon as work was completed to remove the remaining facilities of the former aluminum smelter, Canac began the construction of its future commercial building. The store opened its doors on November 23, 2018, much to the delight of Shawinigan consumers. In November 2017, Canac announced the purchase of the former BMR building on Route 138, at the entrance to Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. At the same time, Canac decided to close its Sainte-Foy store and transfer its operations to a brand-new location in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. As of April 2018, after four months of work, customers enjoy a larger store and a complete commercial offer in all departments. Barely a week before, the Thetford Mines store was officially inaugurated on boulevard Frontenac, becoming the 27th store of the banner. Then, in September of the same year, work began on the 29th location in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies. This new store, the first in the Lanaudière region, opened its doors in the spring of 2019. At the inauguration of this last store, Canac announced the purchase of a lot in La Prairie and the location of its 30th store in Prévost, near the town of Saint-Jérôme, a first in the Laurentides. These two new stores will open in 2020.