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Unilever Team Garners ‘Innovative Spirit’ A

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 2013 Innovative Spirit award at the Annual Supplier Conference, held Sept. 10-11 in Harrisburg, PA Rite Aid Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Standley, President and Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale and Chief Financial and Chief Administrative Officer Frank Vitrano joined Executive Vice President of Merchandising Tony Montini in presenting the award to supplier partner Unilever.

Unilever developed an innovative, enhanced solution for the Men’s zone that engages consumers with an iPad to provide information on key brands in an interactive and fun way. Unilever also eliminated financial barriers by completely funding the trial of this unique fixture.

Additionally, Unilever introduced a color-coded format to make way-finding extremely consumer centric. Now in 150 stores, and with a commitment to increase this to 500 stores, this innovation has produced sales increases that consistently exceed 20 percent.

Rite Aid also partnered with Unilever on four other innovative tests—each designed to create a new customer reach opportunity, improve the shopping experience and encourage multiple purchases.

These innovative vehicles were tested in select stores with results ranging from 14 percent to 60 percent increases in sales. Across each of the initiatives, Unilever combined consumer research and insights, along with 1010 data from Rite Aid, to enhance the shopping experience, leverage brand assets, grow sales and increase both conversion and market basket.

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

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 customer experiences.

Other finalists for the award were supplier partners GlaxoSmithKline and The Procter and Gamble Company.

Members of the Unilever team receive their Innovative Spirit Award. From left, Rite Aid CAO and CFO Frank Vitrano, Rite Aid President and COO Ken Martindale, Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley, President and CEO of the Dowell Group Jerry Dowell, Unilever VP of Growth Channels Kelly Downey, Unilever SVP of Customer Development Todd Tillemans and Rite Aid EVP of Merchandising Tony Montini.

Members of the Unilever team receive their Innovative Spirit Award. From left, Rite Aid CAO and CFO Frank Vitrano, Rite Aid President and COO Ken Martindale, Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley, President and CEO of the Dowell Group Jerry Dowell, Unilever VP of Growth Channels Kelly Downey, Unilever SVP of Customer Development Todd Tillemans and Rite Aid EVP of Merchandising Tony Montini.