Rite Aid holds first managers conference since Brooks/Eckerd acquisition

BALTIMORE Bigger. Better. Bolder.

That’s Rite Aid’s new credo, unveiled today at the opening session for the thousands of veteran Rite Aid store managers and pharmacists and the thousands more Brooks and Eckerd personnel who attended their first Rite Aid managers conference.

"This is a union of two strong and established companies," Mary Sammons, Rite Aid president, chairman and chief executive officer told a conference room of Rite Aid associates Monday morning. "We have created a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts," she said.

The meeting served as a refresher of Rite Aid’s mission statement, corporate objectives and core corporate values for Rite Aid’s veteran employees and emphasized the importance of delivering to Rite Aid’s new employees. "[Customers] know we’re bigger—they expect better. … Now is the time to be bolder," Sammons said. "Our acquisition of Brooks and Eckerd has established us as a bold drug store."

With the recently completed acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd stores along the East Coast, Rite Aid joins the list of Fortune 100 companies, Sammons said, and has notched the first or second position in pharmacy market share in 70 percent of its East Coast markets, including Baltimore, Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Washington.

And while the company converts those Brooks and Eckerd store banners to Rite Aid, Sammons said Rite Aid still is committed to growing organically with 1,000 additional Customer World prototype stores to be built and opened in the next five years.

Sammons also recognized Jim Mastrian, who is stepping aside as chief operating officer of Rite Aid as part of a succession plan to make room for H.E.B. veteran Robert Easley, Sammons said. Easley joins the company as chief operating officer today. Mastrian will assume a new full-time role, special adviser on corporate strategy, Sammons said, helping to continue to evolve Rite Aid’s long-term strategy and specifically focusing on integrating the Brooks and Eckerd stores into the Rite Aid fold.

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