During Rite Aid’s recent second-quarter earnings call, CEO John Standley was very optimistic as the company moves forward as a standalone company, calling its wellness+ loyalty program a key differentiator.

Through its amended purchase agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid will sell 1,932 stores, three distribution centers, and related inventory for an all-cash purchase price of $4.4 billion. Once the transaction is complete, Rite Aid will retain ownership of nearly 2,600 stores, along with six distribution centers, its pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx, Redoxclines, and Health Dialog.

“Our plan focuses on what we believe are six important areas of our business heading forward and they are to build our management team for the future, to redefine and enhance our customer and patient experience, to engage with our payor partners in creating a sustainable business model, to evaluate our pharmacy purchasing options to ensure we have a competitive drug cost, to streamline our operations, and to grow our pharmacy benefits manager EnvisionRx,” Standley explained.

Calling this an “especially important time for Rite Aid,” Standley noted the hire of Kermit Crawford as Rite Aid’s new President and Chief Operating Officer. Crawford served as Walgreens’ Executive Vice President and President of the Pharmacy, Health, and Wellness Division where he was responsible for all aspects of strategic, operational, and financial management for the division.

“We will build upon our strong health and wellness platform to redefine and enhance the customer and patient experience,” Standley said. “Our internal metrics for overall satisfaction are higher year-over-year in both the front-end and the pharmacy. This gives us an important momentum as we look to further leverage the highly successful initiatives that are already providing a unique and engaging experience at Rite Aid. Our wellness store format has resonated with customers as these stores continue to outperform the rest of the chain in terms of same-store front-end sales and script count.”

Following the completion of the transaction with WBA, more than 70 percent of Rite Aid’s chain will be comprised of wellness and customer world stores.

“These stores along with the continued evolution of the wellness format will continue to be an important part of our strategy in both the short term and the long term,” Standley added. “Our highly popular wellness+ customer loyalty program continues to be a key differentiator for Rite Aid. We’ve proven to be an innovator in the customer loyalty space and we will continue to build upon our successful loyalty program by adding new features and benefits in the months to come.”

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