‘With Us, It’s Personal’ Focus of Rite Aid’s 2016 Supplier Conference
Rite Aid leaders “made it personal” as they discussed the company’s continued transformation into a retail healthcare company at the 2016 Rite Aid Supplier Conference. More than 800 supplier partners attended the event, held September 19-21 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
CEO of Rite Aid Stores and President of Rite Aid Corporation Ken Martindale opened the meeting by thanking supplier partners for their continued partnership and collaboration. He credited these partnerships for helping the company complete a financial turnaround and achieve its transformation into a retail healthcare company that now has the opportunity to join forces with Walgreens Boots Alliance, creating a combined company that can not only enhance retail healthcare delivery in the U.S., but also throughout the world.
“At Rite Aid, we are not standing still,” Martindale said. “We are further evolving our brand and moving forward with an even stronger passion for the innovative ideas that satisfy and delight our customers. That’s where we need your continued collaboration and engagement around the customer.”
Martindale highlighted company milestones of the past year, including continued progress in store development and new store construction, growth in the wellness+ with Plenti loyalty program, expanded healthcare offerings including additional RediClinics in key markets, a new state-of-the-art distribution center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Rite Aid’s first central fill pharmacy located in Delran, New Jersey.
“Nearly half of all Rite Aid stores have been converted to the highly successful Wellness store format, 73 stores have been relocated and the company has now opened seven net new stores,” said Martindale. “Our iterative approach to store development allows us to create store experiences that are highly personal, differentiated and fully aligned with our brand. We are now building some of the nicest drugstores in the world.”
In May, the company completed its first full year of wellness+ with Plenti, an enhanced version of its award-winning wellness+ loyalty program that harnesses the power of a coalition of Plenti partners to deliver outstanding value to members. The program continues to grow, with more than 32 million wellness+ with Plenti members—and millions more Plenti members across the coalition.
In June, Rite Aid cut the ribbon on Rite Aid’s new distribution center in Spartanburg, South Carolina. This brand new facility, the company’s first new distribution center in 16 years, will support more than 1,000 Rite Aid stores across the southeastern United States when it is fully operational.
“With its highly efficient and advanced technologies, our Spartanburg distribution center will help us to further optimize our supply chain and better serve our stores and customers throughout the region,” said Martindale.
Martindale, who is also president of The Rite Aid Foundation, thanked supplier partners for their support of the Foundation’s efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities. “Through the engagement of our supplier partners and committed associates, and the generosity of our customers, we have now donated more than $27 million through the Foundation and more than $75 million to CMN Hospitals,” he said.
Rite Aid Senior Vice President of Marketing John Learish next presented an overview of the company’s strategies that showcase Rite Aid’s mantra, “With Us, It’s Personal.”
Learish explained how Rite Aid’s successful wellness+ with Plenti is providing a wealth of customer data that is analyzed to identify the company’s best customers, understand their needs and deliver the products, services, programs and information that are most relevant to them.
He elaborated on how Rite Aid is segmenting customer data and applying digital strategies and creative optimization to deliver the right message to the right individual at the right moment—with maximum efficiency. “We’re integrating Plenti data into our CRM and segmentation campaigns, including using look-alike modeling to target Plenti partner members for front-end and pharmacy acquisition,” he said.
Learish described how the company is continuing to deliver on its promise to “make it personal” for its customers through:
- Targeted email, direct mail and POS campaigns
- Rite Aid’s commercial websites and social media channels
- A re-vitalized circular and redesigned mobile app
- The company’s innovative service framework called “The Rite Aid Experience”
- MakeItPersonal.com—a new website that gives Rite Aid customers a place to celebrate and thank associates who go out of their way to give superior service
“In all of these efforts, we will continue to look to our trusted supplier partners for innovation, ideas and support,” said Learish. “We value these working partnerships that have helped us to take ‘With Us, It’s Personal’ to another level.”
Tony Montini, Rite Aid executive vice president of merchandising and distribution, focused on how Rite Aid is continuing to provide an outstanding customer experience, while working with its creative supplier partners to deliver new and innovative ways to showcase joint products, offerings and services. “We’re counting on all of our supplier partners to help us as we keep the customer’s perspective front and center in every aspect of our business,” he said.
Montini presented examples of the continuing transformation of Rite Aid’s front end, including new product lines with more health choices, more products and services that are integrated into important health care solutions such as Smoking Cessation and Durable Medical Equipment, and access to Wellness Ambassadors, Beauty Advisors and vitamin kiosks.
He discussed the differentiating value of creative endcaps and merchandising approaches like SEAL, and the company’s unique Genuine Wellbeing store concept that is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of today’s consumer.
“We’re doing amazing things in our stores—proving that our innovative spirit remains as strong as ever,” he said, citing the remarkable 10-day remodel of store #3110 in the heart of New York City that successfully revamped the store’s layout to maximize sales and deliver an outstanding shopping environment for Rite Aid customers.
“These accomplishments have only been possible through successful collaboration with our innovative supplier partners,” Montini said in closing. “Although the next few months may bring exciting changes and opportunities for all of us, we will continue to need your support and commitment. Thank you for all you’ve done—and continue to do—for our customers and for our company.”