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Merck Consumer Care Presented Annual Collaborative Spirit Award

Collaborative Spirit

From left, Rite Aid COO Ken Martindale, Rite Aid Associate Category Manager Jennifer Beatty, Merck Team Leader Steve DiPietro, Merck Customer Business Manager Jared Kiesel, Merck Senior Vice President/U.S. Region Head Jim Mackey, Rite Aid President and CEO John Standley and Rite Aid EVP of Merchandising Tony Montini.2

Rite Aid honored supplier partner Merck Consumer Care with the 2011 Collaborative Spirit Award at this year’s annual Supplier Conference in October. Now in its fifth year, this prestigious award celebrates progressive thinking and teamwork. Winners of this award have their names engraved on the Crystal Lighthouse Award, which is on permanent display in Rite Aid’s corporate headquarters lobby in Camp Hill, Pa.

The award criteria are based on the creation, design and implementation of new and innovative programs that help develop significant, incremental growth for both Rite Aid and its supplier partners.

This year’s Collaborative Spirit Award recognized the Merck team for its efforts to understand excessive out-of-stocks and returns in the sun care category during the peak sun care season. Merck performed extensive research on root causes by evaluating more than 25 million lines of data. Merck then worked with Rite Aid teams in category management, merchandising, operations, and replenishment – to implement a new approach that shifted existing levels of inventory among the stores. As a result, Rite Aid experienced a 33 percent reduction in category out-of-stocks. Total returns are also expected to be dramatically reduced.

In announcing the award, Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini said, “A great cross-functional effort was put forth on both sides – and an inspiring demonstration of collaboration. Merck Consumer Care’s work in re-engineering the suntan replenishment process embodied the very word ‘collaboration.’”