Wilfred-Étienne Brunet, who on June 1, 1855, founded the first pharmacy bearing his name, was a man ahead of his time.
The four-story building erected in 1847 at the corner of Saint-Joseph and Sainte-Anne (later named de la Chapelle) was not only one of the largest, most modern and impressive in Canada at the time, it also housed Quebec's largest pharmacy.
In 1940, customers of the Brunet pharmacy were astonished to see its doors open in front of them, almost like magic, whenever they entered or exited the store. This automatic door-opening system, which used a motion detector, was a first in Quebec and yet another example of the innovations that Brunet administrators implemented to simplify their customers’ lives.
A success story
Since its creation in 1855, the Brunet banner has always distinguished itself by its innovative and pioneering spirit. The history of Brunet spans more than 150 years and yet Brunet continues to expand at a phenomenal pace.
Some key dates:
1855: Founding of Brunet pharmacies by Wilfrid-Étienne Brunet
In 1874, the building erected at the corner of Saint-Joseph and Sainte-Anne (later renamed de la Chapelle) is not only one of the largest, most modern and impressive in Canada at the time, but also hosts Quebec's largest pharmacy.
1940: A leading innovator
Brunet's automatic door-opening system is the first in Quebec. This reflects the innovative spirit that Brunet administrators have always demonstrated. Brunet's dispensary also allows the public to observe their pharmacists at work.
1955: A philosophy of customer service
On its 100th anniversary, Brunet renovates its laboratory to accommodate the very latest equipment. Behind the prescription counter, it takes six pharmacists filling 150 prescriptions per day to keep up with the demand. Attention to customer service, which is part of Brunet's DNA, is already in place.
1982: A foothold in Quebec
A group of five pharmacists in Quebec acquires the Brunet chain, which includes five stores. Then president, Dr. Willie Brunet practiced up until 2002.
1986: A concern for the health of its patients
Brunet is the first pharmacy banner to remove tobacco products from its shelves; twelve years before the Tobacco Act came into effect
1987: Acquisition by McMahon Distributeur pharmaceutique inc.
The purchase of the Brunet banner by this large pharmaceutical distribution company, owned by Metro Inc., strengthens the brand while retaining its core values.
1989: At the forefront of eco-friendly actions
Brunet launches "Gardez l’air en santé", a clean air campaign. Brunet also becomes the first chain to stop selling products containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the principal cause of ozone layer destruction.
Brunet acts as a pioneer in Quebec by organizing nurse and dietician services in all of its stores.
1991: Involvement in the fight against STBB
As a major player in the fight against sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBB), Brunet collaborates with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to promote condom use. Ten years later, as part of World Aids Day, the chain distributes 15,000 free condoms, a first in Quebec.
2009: Launch of Brunet Plus
The Brunet Plus concept, designed for the specific needs of large surface stores, focuses on laboratory services as well as access to personalized advice. Brunet Plus stores also offer a significant range of natural health products.
2010: Community involvement
Brunet is actively involved with the health care sector of universities such as Université Laval, where a Brunet practice laboratory is located, and Université de Montréal through a large-scale pharmacy management project.
2010: Launch of Brunet Clinique
Launched in June 2010, the Brunet Clinique focuses on laboratory services for prescriptions and quick access to personalized advice.
2011: Your health is all that matters
In January 2011, Brunet innovates once again with the launch of MaSanté, an online tool that helps customers take better care of themselves and their families.
2013: Brunet Children's Wish Foundation Provincial Tour
Brunet supports the Children's Wish Foundation by raising nearly $15,000 through MaSanté. For every MaSanté registration, Brunet has donated a dollar to the Children's Wish Foundation.
2014: Brunet supports the Fondation les petits trésors
Brunet is committed to supporting the cause of mental health problems affecting young people by participating in the "Donnez pour des têtes en santé!”. The banner gives $30,000 to the Fondation les petits trésors of the Rivière-des-Prairies hospital.
2016: Launch of the Parcours Santé Active
Brunet is launching the Parcours Santé Active, a unique and fun interactive tool accessible free of charge via its website and mobile application, whose objective is to help Quebecers take charge of their health.
2018: A new pharmacy division
In May 2018, Metro Inc. acquires the Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., which becomes a wholly owned subsidiary and now includes all operations of METRO’s pharmacy division. Through its activities, the Jean Coutu Group has now more than 650 pharmacies, mainly under the Brunet, Jean Coutu, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.
2018: Brunet stands out in the WOW ranking
The survey firm Léger unveils the 2018 results of its popular WOW ranking, based on customer experience, products, store, service, pricing, and personalization, among other things. Brunet proudly ranks first among all pharmacy banners and among the top 10 best retailers in Quebec, all sectors of activity combined.