Rite Aid has its merchandising strategy down to a fine science. Even as the merchant team reporting to Tony Montini, Rite Aid EVP of merchandising, delivers a standardized shopping experience to Rite Aid customers, the company’s merchants are constantly experimenting with new ideas that help differentiate that shopping experience from the store across the street.
How serious are Rite Aid’s leaders when they proclaim their determination to make the company a full-service, full-spectrum retail healthcare provider? Serious enough to buy RediClinic — which has operated walk-in healthcare clinics in roughly 30 H-E-B stores in Texas for much of the past decade — and serious enough to embark on an aggressive growth campaign that includes the clinic healthcare provider as a new Rite Aid subsidiary.
More and more, the success of any healthcare delivery model in the United States will depend on the ability of all members of a patient-care team — physicians, pharmacists, hospital systems and health plan payers included — to collaborate effectively on a longterm plan of care that’s focused on successful outcomes and disease prevention.
One of Rite Aid’s most farsighted innovations has been the creation of a unique store position, the wellness ambassador, whose primary focus is serving customers to help deliver a better in-store shopping experience.
Rite Aid may be a company in the midst of a major transformation to provide greater access to health services, but there is one thing that hasn’t changed and won’t change — Rite Aid’s commitment to helping its neighbors.
Rite Aid’s wellness+ loyalty program was a key catalyst in the company’s turnaround, Ken Martindale, Rite Aid president and COO, told Drug Store News. And now that the loyalty program is evolving into wellness+ with Plenti, part of a first-of-its-kind loyalty coalition, it may serve as another bellwether for Rite Aid as the company transforms into a comprehensive retail healthcare company.
From the leadership team in Camp Hill, Pa., to the nearly 90,000 associates it has in the field and in its stores, they believe in themselves and have built a culture focused on finding and implementing the next big idea, and creating important differentiation from their competitors.
To help independent pharmacy owners better understand the fast-growing, uber-complex specialty pharmacy business, the National Community Pharmacists Association last month hosted a day-long forum, “Exploring the intersection of specialty medications, community pharmacy and patient care.”