Walgreens Loyalty ProgramIn the wake of the recent announcement that Walgreens plans to acquire Rite Aid for an estimated $17.2 billion, a spokesperson for Walgreens told Loyalty360 that no immediate changes are planned for Rite Aid’s loyalty program members.

Michael Polzin, Divisional Vice President, Corporate Communications at Walgreens, told Loyalty360 that the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016.

Walgreens has 13,200 stores, with about 60% in the U.S., and generated $76.4 billion in sales for the year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Rite Aid, with 4,570 U.S. stores, has annual sales of about $27 billion.

“Obviously, there aren’t a lot of specifics we can address until the transaction closes,” Polzin said. “But what I can tell you now is that our goal through the integration planning process will be to create a fully harmonized network of stores and infrastructure that will provide our customers and patients with more choice, better access and everyday reliable value. Once the merger is completed, Rite Aid is expected to initially operate under its existing brand name. During that time, loyalty points will be honored.”Walgreens Acquisition of Rite Aid

Walgreens’ Balanced Rewards loyalty program eclipsed 100 million members in April 2014, less than two years after it launched in September 2012.

Rite Aid officials have been excited about how its wellness+ loyalty program members have received the new wellness+ Plenti loyalty program. Plenti is a new coalition loyalty program that lets consumers quickly collect points and redeem rewards by engaging with several major brands. As the first loyalty program of its kind, Plenti will offer consumers an unparalleled level of flexibility. Its development is set to mark a dramatic shift in how U.S. loyalty programs are structured, and Rite Aid stands among American Express, Macy’s, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Nationwide, Hulu, and Direct Energy as a one of the founding partners.

CVS had sales of $139.4 billion last year. But it has 7,870 stores, fewer than Walgreens.

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