Getting to Know: David Abelman, Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Marketing
Since joining the Rite Aid team in 2014, David Abelman’s passion for delivering “over and beyond” the expectations of Rite Aid customers has brought a renewed focus to the company’s commitment to “Make It Personal.”
An industry veteran with over 25 years of retail experience, David majored in marketing at Temple University in Philadelphia before beginning his career as a field marketer at a wholesale grocer.
“I’ve always loved retail stores and have long been a ‘foodie,’ so this was the perfect opportunity for me to learn the business—how supply chain worked and how products, especially short-coded products, got to the shelf,” Abelman said.
Abelman then joined A&P, where he helped develop the company’s private brand portfolio before becoming vice president of marketing for Daymon Worldwide, a private brand sales and marketing firm. From there, Abelman joined Office Depot as vice president of retail marketing and creative services for North America. Abelman then held executive-level marketing positions at Michaels Arts and Crafts and A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, Inc.
“I have learned throughout my career that listening to customers and working closely with both associates throughout the company and supplier partners is paramount to driving innovation, sales and loyalty,” said Abelman. “I’ve been fortunate to work with some great companies and introduce creative solutions to their business models.”
After leaving A.C. Moore, Abelman, who has always been passionate about health and wellness, decided to start his own company and co-founded a start-up called Self Health Nation, an omnichannel concept focused on providing personalized health and wellness solutions such as supplements and functional foods.
Upon selling the company to investors, Abelman joined Rite Aid. “I immediately recognized the unique opportunity I was being given to fulfil my dream of helping people live healthier and happier at every stage of their lives—and there’s no better place to make this a reality than being a part of the team here at Rite Aid,” Abelman said. “I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of the retail healthcare innovation taking place at Rite Aid.”
Abelman believes the wellness+ with Plenti coalition loyalty program is a key tool that will continue helping Rite Aid to better understand its customers’ needs and “make it personal” for them, and assist them on their personal health and wellness journey through targeted offers and services.
Although originally from Philadelphia, Abelman has worked in New York City, Dallas, and Delray Beach, Florida. He now lives in Mechanicsburg, Pa., with Nicole, his wife of 28 years and daughter Kendall, 18. The couple also have two older daughters—Taylor, 22, a senior at University of South Carolina and Devon, 24, a journalist in New York City.
Good food is a consistent theme in Abelman’s life, and during his spare time he enjoys shopping at local farmer’s markets, cooking and entertaining family and friends. While Italian food is his specialty, his time in Texas honed his interest in barbeque and he is proud of his talents in smoking and grilling.
Abelman likes to travel and is an avid reader whose favorite genre is American history—especially the Civil War and biographies and autobiographies of U.S. presidents.
His enthusiasm for his work is embodied in his favorite quote: “Chase your passion and pursue your dreams.”
“Follow this and apply it to what you do every day,” he said. “That’s how I live my life.”