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Rite Aid Supplier Partners of the Year Set Bar for Success

Each year, we have the honor of recognizing and celebrating the supplier partners whose efforts have had the most impact on our collective business over the year. Our “Supplier Partner of the Year” awards are announced at our Annual Supplier Conference, held this year in Harrisburg, Pa., on Sept. 11-12.

Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO John Standley and Chief Operations Officer Ken Martindale joined Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini in presenting the “Supplier Partner of the Year” award to five supplier partners who have demonstrated thoughtful creativity, an excellent approach to collaboration and outstanding attention to detail.

This year’s award winners are The Emerson Group, American Greetings, Unilever, First Quality Brands and Anheuser Busch.

“There is inherent dignity and fulfillment in a job well-done,” Montini remarked. “I congratulate our Suppliers of the Year and thank them, along with all of our valued supplier partners, for their tremendous support and contributions to our continued success.”

The Emerson Group participates in all Rite Aid programs, but goes even further to support our local, grassroots promotions. Despite the recent challenges in the Health categories, Emerson’s service level has averaged 99% for the past year and their level of support contributed to a significant sales and margin increase for Rite Aid.

The Emerson Group

emerson groupFrom left to right: John Standley, Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO; Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO; Scott Emerson, Emerson President; Tony Montini, Rite Aid EVP, Merchandising; Coleman Jackson, Emerson Vice President; Liz Brady, Emerson Senior Director

 
With the explosive growth of social media, the national trend for greeting cards is declining. Not so with American Greetings, which saw an impressive increase in sales and profit last year. American Greetings shares our vision for the role and positioning of this social expression category and has made significant investments to provide new fixtures in each of our Wellness stores.

American Greetings

American GreetingsFrom left to right: John Standley, Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO; Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO; Mike Wovna, American Greetings Division VP, Chain Drug; Tony Montini, Rite Aid EVP, Merchandising; Mike Davis, American Greetings Sr. Account Executive

 

Partnership is often an over-used word in business, but it cannot be used enough to describe Rite Aid’s collaboration with Unilever. After a challenge to our respective teams to re-energize our working relationship, Unilever responded with enthusiasm and a “we can” attitude that led to an increase in sales and profit. Unilever’s collaborative approach has taken our mutual business to new heights.

Unilever

American GreetingsFrom left to right: John Standley, Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO; Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO; Tim J. Phillips, Director, US Drug and Independent Beauty Channel, Unilever US; Tony Montini, Rite Aid EVP, Merchandising; Kelly W. Downey, Unilever Vice President, Ltd Assortment & Emerging Channels; Joe Cavaliere, President, Customer Development, Unilever North America; Jerry Dowell, President, Dowell Group

 

Over the past years, many retailers have tried unsuccessfully to develop proprietary brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but this is definitely not the case with our Baby category. Our collaboration with First Quality Brands, the supplier of baby care, incontinence and sanitary protection products for the Rite Aid Brand, has been a game changer in this important category. Thanks to this partnership, Rite Aid’s Tugaboos brand has blown away the competition with a huge sales increase in the diaper category.

First Quality Brands

first qualityFrom left to right: John Standley, Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO; Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO; Barbara Longchamp, First Quality Director, Sales & Marketing; Tony Montini, Rite Aid EVP, Merchandising; Dan Murphy, First Quality Vice President, Sales & Marketing

There have been tremendous competitive pressures in the Beer category due to the addition of thousands of new beer licenses that were not in the market just a few years ago.

Even in the face of that new competition, Anheuser Busch has helped us grow our beer business by producing an increase in sales while growing gross margin dollars. Not only has Anheuser Busch willingly partnered with their biggest competitor to develop a best-in-class approach to our category review process, but also assumed a leadership role in implementing our Craft Beer Initiative to contribute to our combined success.

Anheuser Busch

AnheuserFrom left to right: John Standley, Rite Aid Chairman, President and CEO; Tony Gaines, Anheuser Busch VP of Small Format; Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO; Jay Barber, Anheuser Busch Director of Sales; Tony Montini, Rite Aid EVP, Merchandising; Chris Williams, Anheuser Busch VP of National Retail Sales