There has been a lot of good news generating out of Rite Aid headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa., in the past week. Not the least of which was the 2.7% lift in first-quarter sales and the 3.1% gain in same-store sales for the period. Rite Aid delivered its seventh consecutive quarter of profitability, noted John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, during a conference call with analysts last week.
And Motley Fool’s consumer goods analyst Sean O’Reilly raved about Rite Aid's Health Alliance program, what he described as the company's "ace up its sleeve." O'Reilly noted that the Health Alliance program is designed to drive traffic into Rite Aid's stores through doctor recommendations in the markets where Health Alliance is active. But there's a deeper dive here, because Rite Aid is driving the right customers into its stores — customers with poly-chronic or chronic conditions that represent more frequent trips and bigger market baskets. What's more, Rite Aid's Health Alliance program aims to make those acquired patients more sticky by coordinating a comprehensive care program that will help those patients reach their health goals.
Not mentioned by O'Reilly is another ace Rite Aid has: the company's new Wellness store format. The most recent incantation of Rite Aid's Wellness store format soon will be showcased in Beverly Hills. The scope of the project included a total remodel and enlargement of the pharmacy, the redesign of several key departments — including beauty and over-the-counter medicines — and the addition of a Fresh Day Café and patio area. "[This store] illustrates how we're aggressively evolving the format to identify additional features that can be broadly applied to future remodels and other features that can be implemented in select stores with specific growth opportunities," Standley told analysts. "Wellness Stores will also serve as the foundation for expanding our healthcare offering, including our Rite Aid Health Alliance program for patients with chronic and poly-chronic conditions, as well as adding RediClinics to Rite Aid stores."
A third ace fielded by Rite Aid is represented by its recent acquisition of RediClinic. Rite Aid is targeting 70 RediClinic openings over the ensuing 18 months and with that augment its total health and wellness offering. The addition of Rite Aid Health Alliance and RediClinics to select Wellness stores will provide a powerful healthcare experience in the communities served by the Pennsylvania retail pharmacy operation.
Rounding out Rite Aid's "ace" initiatives is the company's ground-breaking loyalty program. Rite Aid's Wellness65+ membership roll now is approaching 2 million. And the broader Wellness+ loyalty program continues to perform as well, as the 25 million actively enrolled respond positively to the program's combination of exclusived savings and wellness benefits.