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Rite Aid Recognizes Johnson & Johnson’s ‘Innovative Spirit’

The “Innovative Spirit” award reflects Rite Aid’s focus on promoting innovative ideas and recognizing the extraordinary collaborative efforts of the company’s supplier partners and category management teams. Teams considered for this prestigious award exemplify the highest level of innovative thinking—backed by collaboration, strong teamwork and cooperation.

Rite Aid announced the winner of the 2014 Innovative Spirit award at the Annual Supplier Conference, held Sept. 9-10 in Hershey, Pa. Rite Aid President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale joined Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini in presenting the award to supplier partner Johnson & Johnson.

“Johnson & Johnson has taken a leadership position in creative merchandising innovation over the past year, with numerous category enhancements,” said Montini. “On top of these efforts, Johnson & Johnson’s biggest contribution was in the OTC category, where they led a team of supplier partners who partnered with us to develop an exciting new merchandising approach called SEAL.”

Johnson and Johnson Innovative Spirit

From left to right: Rite Aid President and COO Ken Martindale and Category Manager Jen Rousch, Johnson & Johnson Vice President Drug Channel Sarah Arthur and Vice President of Sales Caitlyn Pappas, and Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini and Team Lead Geoff Betrus.

SEAL is an acronym that stands for “Simplify, Educate At Last.” It’s a unique merchandising approach that utilizes eye-catching aisle displays to inform and educate consumers about specific products and product categories, based on four concepts:

  • If we improve the OTC shopping experience, our customers will become more loyal.
  • If we develop and communicate OTC regimens, our customers will buy more across the category.
  • If we educate them about the benefits of better products, our customers will trade up.
  • If we help them proactively treat conditions, our customers will visit our stores more often and buy more frequently.

Now in 50 stores, SEAL has been expanded across all health-related categories and is generating a sales lift of over 10 percent in some of the largest-volume categories.

“From an emotional perspective, the SEAL presentation significantly strengthens Rite Aid’s brand equity and uniqueness by letting shoppers know that we truly care about their health and wellness,” Montini said. “There’s also a positive reflection on our pharmacy due to the aisle information and queues to health and wellness within the aisle.”

The SEAL approach has been so successful that Rite Aid plans to introduce this planogram to 300 more Wellness stores this fiscal year and bring more supplier partners into the program.

“Collaboration remains critical to everything we do,” said Montini. “This award recognizes
Johnson & Johnson’s strong commitment to innovating with us. We thank them for their cutting-edge retail innovation that delights customers and drives collective businesses.”

Johnson and Johnson 2014 Large Group

The Johnson & Johnson team walked away with the Innovative Spirit award at the 2014 Rite Aid Supplier Conference.

The names of this year’s winners are engraved on the Crystal Aspire Prism, which has a permanent home at Rite Aid’s corporate headquarters in Camp Hill, Pa. The Aspire Prism symbolizes the best in retail innovation and the convergence of many ideas and technologies into a singular, smooth and successful experience that delights customers and drives collective businesses.

Other finalists for the award were supplier partners Pharmavite and Procter and Gamble.