A natural entrepreneur with a passion for customer service, Mr. Bouchard opened the very first Couche-Tard in 1980. Since then, the little corner store hasn't stopped growing and now has a worldwide presence!
Born in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Mr. Bouchard started his career in 1968 at Perrette Dairy Ltd. as store manager, promoted to supervisor, then finally district manager until 1973. As such, he oversaw the opening of 80 stores and established the Perrette network in Quebec. From 1973 to 1976, he coordinated the opening of 70 convenience stores under the Provi-Soir banner, which belonged to the Provigo food chain. He began to operate his first franchise in St-Jérôme from 1976 to 1980.
In 1985, following the opening of 11 convenience stores under the Couche-Tard banner in the province of Quebec, Mr. Bouchard expanded his network with the acquisition of several other chains. Between 1987 and 1997, Couche-Tard acquired the following Quebec brands: La Maisonnée, 7 jours, Perrette, Tôt ou Tard and Provi-Soir. Mr. Bouchard then expanded his business network further into the rest of Canada with Mac's, Wink's, Mike's Mart and Beckers.
Between 1997 and 2012, over 5,500 stores were acquired under 18 different banners across Canada and the United States. These banners included Circle K, Mac's, Provi-Soir, Convenient Food Mart and Spectrum.
In 2012, following the acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail, Couche-Tard found itself leading a vast retail network in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Poland, the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Russia with 2,217 service stations as of October 11, 2015. Mr. Bouchard is one of the few Canadian entrepreneurs to have found success beyond Canadian borders!
Today, Couche-Tard leads the Canadian convenience store industry. In North America, it is the largest independent convenience store chain (including stores both with and without fuel service) in terms of the number of stores operated by the company (corporate stores). On October 11, 2015, the Couche-Tard network counted 8,006 convenience stores in North America, of which 6,579 retailed fuel. Its North American network consists of 15 business units, 11 of which are located in the United States covering 41 states, and 4 are located in Canada, covering all 10 provinces. More than 80,000 people work for the North American Couche-Tard network, within both stores or the service centres, for a total of 115,000 employees across the global network.
In Europe, Couche-Tard leads the convenience and road transportation fuel industry in the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic States, and has a growing presence in Poland. Approximately 19,000 people work in Couche-Tard's European retail network, its terminals and service centres, including the employees working in franchised Statoil stations.
But that's not all! Thanks to franchising contracts, some 4,700 stores operate under the Circle K banner in 14 other countries (China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Guam, Honduras, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates). Through the course of all these changes, the phenomenal growth of the company, as well as being named "Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year" in 2012, Alain Bouchard remains true to his roots and remembers the work it took to get to where he is today. He still lives in la belle province of Quebec and remains faithful to his company's founding values, which he holds dear: fun, commitment, respect, discipline and trust.
Whether under the name Couche-Tard, Circle K or Mac's in Canada, Circle K in the United States, or Statoil Fuel and Retail in Europe, each day, 4.5 million people visit our retail outlets! The company is constantly growing and Couche-Tard now includes over 14,900 branches. Mr. Bouchard's goal is to double this number with other acquisitions.
Since September 2014, Mr. Bouchard has appointed Mr. Brian P. Hannasch under President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Hannasch was previously Chief Operating Officer since 2010 and Senior Vice-President, U.S. Operations from 2008 to 2010. From 2004 to 2008, he was Senior Vice-President, Western North America and Vice President, Integration since 2003.
So, come join the Couche-Tard team and share in our success!