Rite Aid Seeks to Improve Customer Experience Through Innovation

Rite Aid continues to pursue innovation to spark long-term growth and improved customer experience, evidenced by its pilot Rite Aid Health Alliance program−which empowers physicians, in-store care coaches from Health Dialog, and Rite Aid pharmacists to work together in providing a higher level of care to patients with one or more chronic conditions.

Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley talked about the program during Thursday’s second-quarter financial results conference call for fiscal 2015.

“Early in the second quarter, we announced our largest Health Alliance partnership to date with Heritage Provider Network in Southern California,” Standley said in a Seeking Alpha conference transcript. “Most recently, we partnered with a sixth medical practice, Physician Direct ACO in Detroit. We also plan to begin opening RediClinics in select Rite Aid stores during the back half of the fiscal year as we look to deliver yet another convenient layer of healthcare support to the communities we serve. And as we continue to expand our healthcare offering, we are also making progress in building up our real estate pipeline to execute our relocation and new store program over the next several years.”

Ken Martindale, Rite Aid’s President and Chief Operating Officer, said the company’s Wellness store program is perhaps the most visible component of an ongoing transformation.

“Our teams are doing an excellent job of completing additional Wellness remodels while minimizing the impact this process has on the customer experience during construction,” Martindale said. “Thanks to their efforts, we now have a grand total of 1,433 Wellness stores, which represents about 31% of our entire chain.”

Martindale said the company remains focused on leveraging its Wellness store program to launch innovative merchandising concepts that significantly enhance the shopping experience.

“A great example is our new OTC presentation,” he said. “This unique research-based consumer solution was developed and tested in conjunction with several key suppliers during the past year. The new design makes shopping navigation much easier and incorporates consumer education and product cross-selling to deliver a much better customer experience. This concept has been very well-received by shoppers and is now rolling out to most future Genuine Wellbeing stores.”

Rite Aid recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of profitability growth and net income. Total comparable store sales increased by 4.1%, while achieving a net income of $127.8 million and adjusted EBITDA of $364.2 million.

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