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Supplier Advisory Board Meets in Las Vegas

Supplier Advisory Board

Rite Aid’s category management team and Supplier Advisory Board members gathered in Las Vegas, Nev., on March 31 for the bi-annual Supplier Advisory Board (SAB) meeting.

Tony Montini, Rite Aid executive vice president of merchandising and distribution, and Robert Thompson from the pharmacy team, welcomed supplier partners and outlined the day’s objectives before introducing Rite Aid Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Standley.

Standley discussed Rite Aid’s positive sales, prescription count and income growth over the past year as well as the company’s store development efforts, the expansion of Rite Aid Health Alliance, the addition of RediClinics to select stores, enhancements to wellness+, improved and expanded pharmacy services and Rite Aid’s expanded partnership with McKesson.

He also spoke about Rite Aid’s exciting acquisition of the Envision Rx pharmacy benefit management company before introducing CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale.

Martindale presented the four major areas of focus that Rite Aid has envisioned to help build a unique customer experience that will differentiate the company from the competition:

  1. Integrated suite of health services
  2. Front end transformation
  3. Seamlessly connected customer experience across all channels
  4. Delivering consistently outstanding customer and associate experiences

Rite Aid Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish concluded the joint session with an update on the wellness+ with Plenti coalition loyalty program, the company’s revolutionary new enhancement to wellness+. He summarized how the program works and the marketing strategy planned to promote customer conversion from wellness+ to wellness+ with Plenti. Learish also emphasized the power of the Plenti coalition partners and how that translates to member benefits through wellness+ with Plenti.

After the mid-morning break, the Front End suppliers reconvened with Ted Williams, Rite Aid vice president of general merchandise and seasonal, for a final update on the Circular & Profit Plan Optimization committee.

Doug Rhoads from Daymon Worldwide explained that the goal for the group was to identify one metric to measure the success of circular ads and profit planner promotions.

Rhoads was followed by Alex Botero from Procter & Gamble, who provided specific details on the profit planner and reporting tools created by the committee. He talked about how the new reporting tool will allow for better fact-based decision making between suppliers and Rite Aid category management teams, before turning the program over to Denise Jordan from SC Johnson, who led the circular ad discussion.

Jordan explained how the committee identified one key metric to calculate the incremental value per basket (IVB). The IVB metric encompasses all major components of an ad block, including sales, margin, lift, baskets, halo and more.

Next, Bill Bergin, Rite Aid’s group vice president of health and beauty, discussed Store Segmentation and Micro-Marketing and how F.A.S.T.—a new segmentation tool in 1010Data—can help deliver the right product in the right stores.

Pharmavite’s Gary Mullin and his team shared four case studies involving the categories of Cosmetics, Shampoo, Vitamins and Diapers. They described the benefits of using F.A.S.T. to test their findings. F.A.S.T. is expected to be available later this summer.

After lunch, the final committee update around In-Store Informational Signage was led by Rite Aid Group Vice President of Consumables Bill Renz. Michael Arndt from E&J Gallo discussed the current barriers and why it is so important for Rite Aid and suppliers to educate consumers within the store. Keith McEnroe from GlaxoSmithKline discussed several projects, including S.E.A.L., that have already been implemented and have had a positive impact on sales.

Thurman Williams from Coca-Cola wrapped up this portion of the meeting by discussing how the group can better implement in-store signage to deliver a consistently outstanding experience by building an overall “brand” framework with a consistent merchandising style.

Tony Montini concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for their participation and announced three new committees.

The first committee, Understanding the Customer, is a continuation of the Store Segmentation and Micro-Marketing committee. The focus for this new project will be to use the tool they have already developed to create action plans that target key consumers.

Another new project is Top Store Merchandising Execution. This team will identify and understand the company’s top-performing stores and develop best practices that can be applied across the chain.

The final new committee is Onboarding New Account Reps. The purpose of this project is to expand the supplier’s knowledge base to all the tools available in the Rite Aid Supplier Portal.

These new committees will provide an update at the next Supplier Advisory Board meeting on Oct. 1, 2015, in Hershey, Pa.