Walgreens. CVS. Rite Aid. Walmart. Costco. Health Mart. Sam’s Club. Ahold. H-E-B. Winn-Dixie. McKesson. Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Kerr Drug. Rexall Canada. Family Dollar. Shoppers Drug Mart. Giant Eagle. The list of participating companies in the 14th Annual Drug Store News Group Industry Issues conference reads like a “who’s who” of retailing.
Online Groupons for health services? Doctors and hospitals sharing patient data and treatment goals with retail clinics, pharmacies and urgent care centers? Hospitals luring patients with inviting atriums and indoor waterfalls?
Rite Aid reported a 0.5% increase in same-store sales for July, including a 1.2% increase in front-end comps and a 0.2% increase in pharmacy comps. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 4.5%.
One of the most visible representations of Rite Aid’s efforts to make a comeback is its Wellness store format. The company first unveiled the format in several test markets in the Northeast last year, gradually expanding it to other states.
Everybody loves a comeback story, and it looks as though the pharmacy retail industry has one of its own in the making as Rite Aid’s latest earnings report showed another strong quarter for the Camp Hill, Pa.-based chain, which has been steadily growing its sales and narrowing its losses for several quarters already.
Prepare to roll up your sleeves, because the battle for the ESI patient has only just begun. While Wall Street is busy calculating the earnings-per-share impact this will have on all relevant parties (at press time, Walgreens’ shares had consistently hovered around the $35 range, up almost $4 in the week following the announcement), the business of pharmacy retailing will return to block and tackle mode.