Metro, a Quebecois company?

Published: 13 November 2023

In answer to a question posed by a reader, La Presse looked into the origins of the Metro group with expert commentary from agricultural economist Pascal Thériault, Director of McGill's Farm Management and Technology program and Senior Faculty Lecturer.

Among the five major players in the grocery field (Metro, IGA, Loblaw, Costco and Walmart), Metro is the only one to have its head office in Quebec. The big decisions are therefore made here, indicated Thériault.

"The company was founded in Quebec. And the acquisitions it has made have mainly been Quebec acquisitions: Steinberg, Première Moisson, Jean Coutu, Adonis... Metro's expansion has been through Quebec," Thériault said.

And for consumers, is there any real difference between shopping at Metro or elsewhere? "Less and less," answers Pascal Thériault. 

He points out that Metro is not the only one to offer Quebec products. "For example, the selection of Bœuf Québec products is much greater if you go to Loblaw [Provigo, Maxi] than if you go to Metro," notes Mr. Thériault.

He adds that consumers feel they're supporting a Quebec company when they deal with a franchisee, who is often involved in his or her community, regardless of the brand.

"The owners of Metro and IGA stores, we see them on the floor, we talk to them, they ask us how things are going. It's a contact we don't have in corporate grocery stores [like Maxi]."

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