Pet Valu enters the Quebec market with the acquisition of Les Franchises Chico Inc. (Chico).
Chico is the largest franchisor of specialized pet stores in Quebec, with 66 branches across the province. Founded in 1983 by Pierre Charbonneau and Michel Joly, the brand has steadily increased its store count and sales and, in 2021, generated system-wide sales of approximately $79 million and revenue of approximately $7 million.
“Entering Quebec marks a key milestone in our mission to be Canada’s preferred pet retailer,” said Richard Maltsbarger, President and CEO of Pet Valu. “The acquisition of Chico is a great strategic fit for both companies, as we welcome a great brand with a tremendous group of franchisees and loyal customers into the Pet Valu family, with the opportunity to benefit from our scale, infrastructure and franchisee support.We look forward to supporting Chico’s continued growth in the province and serving Quebec’s pet enthusiasts.
Similar to Pet Valu, Chico’s stores are all located in small-format local locations averaging 3,000 square feet.
The company plans to operate Chico as a separate subsidiary led by a Montreal-based management team, with founders Charbonneau and Joly continuing to be active in the business, and intends to preserve the Chico banner in Quebec.
“I have long envisioned seeing Chico expand across Quebec, to provide a place where discerning pet owners can seek expert advice and high quality products from franchise owners. dedicated and based in the neighborhood,” said Charbonneau. “Pet Valu is the ideal partner to support Chico’s continued growth across the province, given the correlation with our values and a strong track record fostering close relationships with their franchise network across