Getting to Know: Rite Aid Category Manager Cathy Furtado
Cathy Furtado is devoted to helping Rite Aid customers stay healthy, happy and beautiful. As category manager for skin care, bath, deodorant, sun care and apparel, she is an enthusiastic advocate for taking care of your body and is passionate about offering the best and most appealing assortment of health and beauty products and services to meet the needs of Rite Aid customers.
A chain drugstore veteran, Cathy started out as a district manager for Brooks Pharmacy in Rhode Island after graduating from St. Joseph’s College in Maine. Over the next 21 years, she moved into category management, eventually becoming category manager of cosmetics, before transitioning to Rite Aid as part of the company’s acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd drugstore chains in 2007.
Except for a two-year hiatus, during which time she managed a competitor’s beauty initiative in New York City and also joined a Rite Aid supplier partner team to “see what it was like from the other side of the table,” Cathy has spent her entire professional career on the Rite Aid team.
Cathy is very focused on introducing new merchandising innovations in her area, like the “Beauty” end caps that were launched in May 2014 and continue to deliver positive results. “The end caps are very visual and change every month to keep our customers engaged and excited,” she said. “I’m also very excited about a new merchandising innovation we expect to release later this year called ‘Project GEM’—which stands for ‘Guide, Educate, Motivate.’ GEM will redefine how we merchandise products in the key skin and sun care categories.
Rite Aid Group Vice President of Health and Beauty Bill Bergin considers Cathy an “invaluable member” of the Beauty Team. “Cathy is a great leader who is exceptionally collaborative and innovative with both merchandising concepts and new product development,” he said. “She has a strong work ethic and never backs down from a challenge. Her programs always start with the consumer in mind and she strives to execute flawlessly. We are very fortunate to have her on our team.”
Cathy’s “can do” attitude is embodied in her favorite quote: “I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful and way too determined to be defeated.”
Her husband of 22 years, Jeff, who also works for Rite Aid, shares her passion for the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. They also enjoy cooking and exercising together and visiting their families in Rhode Island. “Family,” Cathy said, “is my #1 hobby.”