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Sammons’ speech to Rite Aid associates very positive

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE Rite Aid is looking up, Mary Sammons, Rite Aid chairman, president and chief executive officer, told Rite Aid associates last week at the 2008 Rite Aid Management Conference and Supplier Exhibition. “The momentum is with us to have positive comp sales in all of our stores in Q3,” she said, noting that the Brooks/Eckerd assimilation was nearly complete. All systems conversions were completed in May; each of the six distribution centers is online; and Rite Aid’s planograms have been ceded into all former Brooks/Eckerd store fronts.

And to help fuel that momentum going forward, Rite Aid has generated hundreds of thousands of new prescriptions out of its “Fill Up and Fuel Up” program—in shich customers transferring prescriptions receive a $30 Rite Aid gift card and a chance to win a year’s worth of gas.

And to entice even more seniors to shop Rite Aid, the chain is continuing to promote its Living More senior loyalty card program and will introduce a new health and wellness program in September.

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Vitamin Shoppe launches online community Web site

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. Vitamin Shoppe earlier this month launched a new free online community featuring message boards and advice on health, wellness and sports nutrition products, the company announced Thursday.

“The online community is a natural extension of the conversations that happen in our stores everyday,” stated Lou Weiss, vice president and general manager of Vitamin Shoppe Direct. “Our members are coming together in this community to not only share their experiences, but also to get the unparalleled knowledge and advice that Vitamin Shoppe is known for.”

“Since the boards launched in early August, topics that have been discussed include nutrition, dieting, health conditions, bodybuilding, and vitamins,” added Weiss. “New topics are springing up every minute.”

The Vitamin Shoppe online community also features a variety of experts on the boards who not only host discussions, but answer specific questions from customers. Those experts include: Dave Foreman, an herbal pharmacist; Christiane Rivard, registered dietitian; and Dave Hawk, former Mr. USA and Mr. World and a personal trainer and adviser to a number of professional athletes. The boards can be accessed at www.vsconnect.com or from direct links from www.vitaminshoppe.com, and www.bodytech.com.

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Former Longs Drug executive joins RadioShack

BY Doug Desjardins

FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack has named former Longs Drug executive Phyllis Proffer as its new vice president of investor relations.

In her new position, Proffer will oversee all investor relations operations. Proffer most recently served as vice president of investor relations and corporate communications for Longs Drug.

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