NEW YORK — Rite Aid has brought the latest iteration of its Wellness store format to Manhattan with the remodel of a 14-year-old store. In a recent interview with DSN, Rite Aid president and COO Ken Martindale said part of the challenge of the remodel was fitting it inside the smaller space that characterizes many of the chain’s urban stores; this particular store is about 9,200 sq. ft., compared with about 14,000 sq. ft. for the Lemoyne, Pa., store where the company debuted the new Wellness format, dubbed Genuine Well Being. That meant moving the nail bar from a stand-alone kiosk to a wall, placing smoking-cessation products on a shelf instead of an endcap and taking out some features like the Vision Care Center.
“This will give you a sense of how we’re taking all the elements, or most of the elements, and how we get them into an urban box,” Martindale told DSN. “Pretty much everything we’re doing, we’re also doing to different degrees. We may not put in all the elements depending on a whole host of factors, but this basic footprint, the Genuine Well Being design, is what we’re going forward with.” Currently, the company has more than 900 stores converted to Wellness stores, most of them based on the older design. Rite Aid plans to have about 1,200 conversions finished by the end of fiscal year 2014, with all new conversions done according to the Genuine Well Being format.