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Rite Aid Recognizes 2016 Supplier Partners of the Year for Outstanding Collaboration

Each year, Rite Aid recognizes and honors supplier partners whose efforts have had a significant impact on business during the year. These “Supplier Partner of the Year” awards were announced at the Annual Supplier Conference, held this year in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Ken Martindale, CEO of Rite Aid stores and president of Rite Aid Corporation, and Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish joined Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini in presenting the “Supplier Partner of the Year” awards to three supplier partners who have demonstrated thoughtful creativity, an excellent approach to collaboration and outstanding attention to detail.

This year’s Supplier Partners of the Year award winners are Idea Village, Mars Chocolate North America and Pharmavite.

“Our collaboration with these supplier partners set a high bar for success,” Montini remarked. “I congratulate and thank them, along with all of our valued supplier partners, for their dedication to excellence and outstanding contributions to our mutual business.”

From left to right: Rite Aid CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corp. Ken Martindale and Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish; Idea Village Vice President and National Sales Manager Tim LaSecla; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini; Idea Village Chief Financial Officer Dave Epstein; and Ted Williams, Rite Aid Vice President of Seasonal and General Merchandise

From left to right: CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corp. Ken Martindale; Rite Aid Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish; Idea Village Vice President and National Sales Manager Tim LaSecla; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini; Idea Village Chief Financial Officer Dave Epstein; and Ted Williams, Rite Aid Vice President of Seasonal and General Merchandise

Idea Village has been a key player for Rite Aid in the As Seen on TV category, making a significant contribution to total category sales.

“The team at Idea Village has been very successful in extending the lifecycle of As Seen on TV products—building well-known brands such as Copper Fit, MicroTouch and Snackeez—and pioneering the use of celebrity endorsers in the As Seen on TV category,” said Montini. “This supplier partner is very creative in developing new items and works closely with our category management team to ensure we are prepared to handle key new item launches and remain first-to-shelf in the drug channel.”

From left to right: Rite Aid Group Vice President of Consumables Bill Renz and CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corp. Ken Martindale; Mars Rite Aid Team Lead Ron Jaross; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini and Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish; Mars Category Development Manager, Drug Channel Robert Tayler, Vice President of Sales, Drug Channel Steve Linder and Grocery East Sales Director Pia Heine

From left to right: Rite Aid Group Vice President of Consumables Bill Renz and CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corp. Ken Martindale; Mars Rite Aid Team Lead Ron Jaross; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini and Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish; Mars Category Development Manager, Drug Channel Robert Tayler, Vice President of Sales, Drug Channel Steve Linder and Grocery East Sales Director Pia Heine

Mars Chocolate North America continues to be a major player in Rite Aid’s efforts to reinvent the candy aisle. Mars was the first consumables supplier partner to embrace the “Skinny Tower” concept, with a 200-store test featuring M&M’s “Color Mix” displays that highlighted the candy department and walked the customer down the aisle.

“This innovative supplier partner has helped change the landscape of floor displays in our channel,” said Montini. “Not only does the Mars Chocolate North America Company continue to be a leader in the candy business at Rite Aid, but they also possess a superior understanding of the ‘Art of the Possible’ as they accept all challenges head on and strive for success in all aspects of the business.”

From left to right: CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corp. Ken Martindale; Pharmavite Chief Customer Officer Tim Toll; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini; Pharmavite Director of National Accounts Gary Mullin and Vice President of Sales Mike Simco; Dowell Group CEO Jerry Dowell; Rite Aid Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish and Group Vice President of Health and Beauty Bill Bergin

From left to right: CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corp. Ken Martindale; Pharmavite Chief Customer Officer Tim Toll; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini; Pharmavite Director of National Accounts Gary Mullin and Vice President of Sales Mike Simco; Dowell Group CEO Jerry Dowell; Rite Aid Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish and Group Vice President of Health and Beauty Bill Bergin

In the Vitamins, Minerals, Herbals and Supplements categories, Rite Aid supplier partner Pharmavite has provided outstanding leadership and tireless effort over the years. Through thoughtful assortment analysis that has incorporated innovative new offerings, data-driven promotional planning and participation in collaborative efforts with other key supplier partners, the Pharmavite team strives to solidify Rite Aid’s leadership position in this important category.

“Pharmavite has grown its brand and the overall VHMS category through investing in consumer research to better understand our consumers’ needs and develop better assortment, promotions, and presentation,” said Montini. “Our collaboration has led to proprietary offerings such as the use of kiosks to provide education and directional content in this often confusing category that has translated into outstanding business results.”

Rite Aid congratulates the 2016 Supplier Partners of the Year, and thanks each of them for their dedication to excellence and their outstanding contributions.