On October 30, 1958, the company is legally incorporated under the Quebec Companies Act under the name of “Korvette Stores Limited”. In 1972, the company name is rendered into French and is henceforth known as “Les Magasins Korvette ltée”.
It all began when four main shareholders, Jean-Marc and Gaston Binette, Louis M. Gagné, and Bernard Diguer, decided to form a partnership. Their initial investment was $5,700.
On Thursday, November 6, 1958, the very first Magasins Korvette store opens for business in the municipality of Donnacona. Covering an area of 1,000 sq. ft., this historic day produces a grand total of $341.20 in retail sales.
In 1964, the initial Head Office settles in new premises located next to the Nicolet store. Three stores are now in operation.
In 1969, the Head Office relocates to neighbouring premises, a previous rental property owned by the company. The new premises cover an area of 1,000 square feet.
In 1970, the company purchases the assets of Magasin A. Allard ltée in Grand-Mère, the very first purchase of this type. The new store covers an area of 6,800 square feet and becomes the fifth in the chain.
In 1974, the company purchases a building in Trois-Rivières at a cost of $160,000. The new premises would serve to house the Head Office as well as a central warehouse, allowing for better stock management and a means to disaffiliate from the M. I. Variétés buying group. The property had been previously owned by “Les Pharmacies Universelles”, which had gone bankrupt.
That same year, a computer system is implemented within the company. Mr. Jean-Marc Binette was regarded as somewhat of a pioneer in that, back then, only leading companies had adopted computers for their business operations. The initial system was comprised of custom accounting and inventory control programs for the Distribution Centre.
In 1976, the company purchases its first truck, a Ford 16 ft. trailer, so that it could make its own deliveries to its various stores. Today, the company owns one tractor trailer and part of the transport is entrusted to outside subcontractors.
The company opens 3 new stores in less than a year so that it can secure a faster return on investment for the new premises in Trois-Rivières. The new stores are located in Huntingdon, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, and Contrecoeur, the latter opening for business on November 24, 1977 and becoming the 10th store in the chain.
On October 9, 1983, the company celebrates its 25th anniversary amid a gathering of employees and their spouses. A visit to Head Office and the Distribution Centre is organized, followed by dinner at the Auberge des Gouverneurs de Trois-Rivières.
In 1984, the company significantly expands its Distribution Centre, going from 9,100 square feet to 13,000 square feet.
In 1985, Head Office also undergoes considerable expansion, going from 1,700 square feet to 3,055 square feet.
In 1988, the company’s first chain store in Donnacona leaves the downtown core and establishes itself in a building opposite the Place Donnacona shopping centre. In 1993, the company purchases one of its competitors in this same shopping centre and the store relocates to its new 12,230 sq. ft. premises. The premises were slightly expanded to 13,133 sq. ft. in 2007, serving to prove that besides its interest in adding to its chain, the company is constantly seeking to improve its existing stores.
In 1993, the company reaches a milestone with the opening of its 20th store.
On February 1st, 1996, the Distribution Centre is expanded to 7,975 sq. ft.
When it came time to computerize the chain stores, the task was entrusted to Genmar (GSI), who installed all the necessary point of sale and complete inventory control software. The first system is installed on June 20, 1996 in Nicolet due to the store’s proximity to Head Office. Installation of the accounting system software is entrusted to Great Plains.
Mr. Jean-Marc Binette, the Founding President, dies on October 15, 1997. Mrs. Huguette Binette subsequently takes up the reins and becomes President of the company.
In 1998, the company becomes a member of the “Groupe SST du commerce de detail” (group health and safety for the retail sector) to set up an occupational health and safety insurance scheme.
The company reaches a milestone at the end of 2000 with the opening of its 30th store and another milestone in 2004 with the opening of its 40th store.
The company grew very rapidly after this period with four record years between 2004 and 2007 and nineteen (19) new store openings.
In 2006, after carrying the same visual identity for 48 years, the company re-launches its corporate image with a new logo. Along with its new logo, a new company slogan is also added to Korvette’s business correspondence: juste prix, près d’ici. (fair prices, close to home)
That same year, after many months of development, the new corporate website goes live. Internet users can now obtain a wealth of information on the company by clicking on the following link: www.korvette.ca.
In December 2006, an affiliated company purchases an approximately 52,000 sq. ft. warehouse on 2200 Girard in Trois-Rivières, near the existing Distribution Centre which is set to move there. On December 6, 2007, after extensive renovations, the Distribution Centre moves its operations to the new location, going from 18,000 sq. ft to 52,000 sq. ft.
In 2007, the company reaches a milestone with the opening of its 50th store.
On September 1st, 2008, the company celebrates its 50th anniversary amid a large gathering of its employees in Trois-Rivières. A video is especially prepared for the occasion and viewed by the staff during the festivities. View the video (french only):
On May 12, 2009, Head Office relocates to a completely renovated section of the former Distribution Centre. The furniture is also fully replaced. The new workplace would significantly improve the quality of life as well as the productivity of the employees. The exterior of the building is completely renovated and 2 commercial spaces are made suitable for leasing.
In November 2009, the company reaches milestone of 60 stores.
Death in 2012 of the President Mrs. Huguette Binette, his son Daniel is now president since that time.
There are 72 stores currently scattered throughout Quebec, always ready to serve you and designed to meet the needs of your entire family. Pay us a visit!