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Rite Aid Supplier Partners of the Year: Outstanding Examples of 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, Pa., on Sept. 28-30.

CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale joined Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer Darren Karst and Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini in presenting “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 award winners are Supplier Partners of the Year Craig Electronics, InComm, and US Nutrition.

“Our collaboration with these supplier partners set the 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.”

With a sales increase of 18 percent and a total margin dollar of more than 62 percent over the previous year, the words “no” and “can’t” are not in the vocabulary of Craig Electronics.

Craig

From left to right: Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer Darren Karst; Harvey Stein, president of HLS Enterprises; Craig Electronics CEO Joel Newman and President Michael Newman; and Ken Martindale, CEO of Rite Aid stores and president of Rite Aid Corporation

“This Supplier Partner of the Year finds ways to mutually resolve issues and take calculated risks in developing new business,” said Montini. “It’s a true, collaborative partnership where both sides listen to new ideas and then develop the game plans to implement new products based on feedback and research. The Craig team always finds a resolution and a plan to work through any issue.”

“InComm’s continuing innovation in developing displays that enhance assortment and presentation is a key reason we’ve maintained double-digit sales increases, year over year, throughout our 13-year relationship,” Montini said.

INCOMM

From left to right: INCOMM Director of Sales Jim Zinzi; Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer Darren Karst; INCOMM Vice President of Sales Scott Fain and Founder and CEO Brooks Smith; and CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale

“We are proud of our continuing relationship with the preeminent gift card supplier in the industry,” Montini continued. “The InComm team is a true collaborative partner in driving the kind of growth Rite Aid is looking to achieve—our sales were up 17 percent and margins up 37 percent last year. We thank them for their continuing support and guidance.”

In the Vitamin category, which continues to be a key differentiator for Rite Aid, Supplier Partner of the Year US Nutrition led with product innovation in natural alternatives, probiotics and women’s health, coupled with a strong promotional strategy and innovative merchandising presentation.

USNutrition_2

From left to right: Rite Aid Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Distribution Tony Montini; Acosta Broker Bob Black; US Nutrition Director of Sales Andrew Urbine; Rite Aid Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer Darren Karst; US Nutrition Chief Customer Officer Andrew Archambault; and Vice President of Sales Alison Potts; and CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale

“Nobody is contributing to the success of the Vitamin category more significantly than US Nutrition,” said Montini. “This Supplier Partner of the Year has provided leadership in all the fundamental areas of category management, leading to impressive sales increases of more than 16 percent and margin increases of 25 percent. The team works collaboratively with Rite Aid to understand all the key drivers of category growth.”

Rite Aid congratulates the 2015 Supplier Partners of the Year, and thanks each of them for their dedication to excellence and their outstanding contributions.