Wellness Stores: The Next Generation
Rite Aid is continually refining and retooling its Wellness store concept to enhance the customer experience and drive home the message that Rite Aid pharmacies are health and wellness stores.
“We’re very excited about our innovative Wellness stores,” says Chief Operating Officer Ken Martindale. “The format is an agile platform that can respond quickly to developing trends in the marketplace, and Rite Aid supplier partners play an integral role in the evolution of this concept by providing exciting new ideas, wellness products and new customer and patient services.”
With about 40 Wellness store remodels completed each month, Rite Aid is on pace to remodel 500 stores in fiscal 2013. That means the company will have a grand total of 780 Wellness stores by the end of the fiscal year.
Rite Aid’s Wellness store format involves a physical redesign of the store interior to make it easier for customers and patients to find their way to the pharmacist, while enhancing the overall shopping experience. Wellness stores provide consultation rooms and an expanded lineup of clinical pharmacy services and wellness-related products such as organic foods and light fitness equipment. In most Wellness stores, specially trained associates called Wellness Ambassadors help customers by locating products, accessing helpful information via iPads and referring customers to a pharmacist for clinical information and product recommendations.
The “next generation” of Wellness stores promises to incorporate even more exciting and innovative ideas. Future developments include testing vision care centers, cosmeticians in the beauty sections of some stores and upscale wine sections in appropriate locations.
According to Martindale, the company’s Wellness store concept represents the progression of a drugstore from a place that merely meets a patient’s prescription needs to one that helps a patient to stay well. “With our new Wellness format, we’re sending a strong message to customers that we’re not just here to help them when they’re sick,” he says. “We’re also here to help them be proactive in their health and wellness.”