As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Alimentation Couche-Tard, who could have imagined the current circumstances? Amid some of the most challenging times we have ever faced, I am filled with pride and appreciation.
When my partners and I opened our first convenience store in Laval, Quebec, we never imagined the size and scale that our company would achieve. And back then, we certainly never envisaged a global pandemic and the demand for a rapid response to protect our people, our customers and our company.
Our culture of growth, agility, discipline, and innovation has served us well.
We have always put our people first, and this has stood us in good stead. They are the ones who have made our accomplishments of the last 40 years possible. When COVID-19 appeared, we made sure to be there for them, as they navigated financial, emotional and medical hardship. This empowered our people to be there in turn, and to keep putting our customers first.
We were already well into preparations for a changing world in which new generations of customers have different tastes and needs. Innovation is part of our DNA, and we have always challenged ourselves to evolve with our younger shoppers and developing technology. With the crisis, we actually accelerated the pace of innovations to improve the customer experience, making it even easier and safer for everyone.
Our history of financial discipline allowed us to face the situation with confidence and competence. We were a strong company coming into this, ready to adapt through the pandemic and challenges beyond, both operationally and financially. Never has it been more important to provide what our customers need, when and where they want it, and to make it as easy as possible.
As we care for all our stakeholders, we continue to expand our efforts towards a cleaner, safer world by reducing our energy footprint, empowering our diverse talent at work, and being part of the solution in our communities—all through a unified approach communicated with greater transparency and dialogue. It’s a win-win: good for our company, our people, the communities we serve, and the environment. This summer, we will publish our second company-wide sustainability report—a global effort of which I am very proud.
Our 40 years of hard work are paying off. We will continue to be a company dedicated to growth and serving our customers. We will emerge from this crisis an even better, stronger company positioned for the next 40 years, on our journey to become the world’s preferred destination for convenience and fuel.
Thank you to all our people, shareholders, partners and customers. We’re in this together, and you can continue to count on us.