Rite Aid

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Rite Aid Corporation
Type Public (NYSERAD)
Industry Retailing
Founded 1962 - as Thrift D Discount
1968 - Public, as Rite Aid Corp
Headquarters East Pennsboro Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Number of locations 4,623 (March 2013)[1]
Key people John Standley, Chairman & CEO;
Ken Martindale, President & Chief Operating Officer;
Frank Vitrano, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Administrative Officer
Products Drug store/pharmacy
Revenue Decrease US$25.392 billion (FY2013)
Operating income Increase US$717.5 million (FY 2013)
Net income Increase US$118.1 million (FY 2013)
Total assets Decrease US$7.078 billion (FY 2013)
Total equity Decrease US$-2.459 billion (FY2013)
Employees 50,730 (2013)
Website www.riteaid.com

Rite Aid is a drugstore chain in the United States and a Fortune 500 company headquartered in East Pennsboro Township, Pennsylvania, near Camp Hill.[2][3] Rite Aid is the largest drugstore chain on the East Coast and the third largest drugstore chain in the U.S.

Rite Aid began in 1962 as a single store opened in Scranton, Pennsylvania called Thrif D Discount Center. After several years of growth, Rite Aid adopted its current name and debuted as a public company in 1968. Today, Rite Aid is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker RAD. Rite Aid reported total sales of USD $24.3 billion in fiscal year 2008. In 2008, its market capitalization dropped to under $500 million. As of 23 February 2012, the market capitalization of Rite Aid was about $1.4 billion. [4]

Its major competitors are CVS and Walgreens.

History[edit]

Alex Grass founded the Rite Aid chain in Scranton, Pennsylvania in September 1962. The first store was called Thrif D Discount Center, a health and beauty aids store, without a pharmacy. It was an offshoot of Rack Rite Distributors a subsidiary of his father-in law’s Lehrman & Sons which Alex Grass launched in 1958, that rented and stocked racks with health and beauty aids in grocery stores. In 1965 their 23rd store added a pharmacy and the company name was changed to Rite Aid.[5] Through acquisitions and new stores, Rite Aid quickly expanded into 5 northeast states by 1965. The chain was officially named Rite Aid Corporation in 1968 and made its debut on the American Stock Exchange. It moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1970. In 2011, Rite Aid was ranked #100 on Fortune 500 Largest U.S. Corporations.

Growth and acquisitions[edit]

Just ten years after its first store opened, Rite Aid operated 267 locations in 10 states. It was named the third largest drugstore in the United States by 1981; shortly thereafter, 1983 marked a sales milestone of $1 billion. A 420-store acquisition along the east coast expanded Rite Aid's holdings beyond 2,000 locations, as did the acquisition of Gray Drug in 1987. Among the companies acquired was Baltimore, Maryland's Read's Drug Store. On April 10, 1989, Peoples Drug's 114 unit Lane Drug of Ohio was purchased by Rite Aid.[6]

Rite Aid acquired twenty-four Hooks Drug stores from Revco in 1994, selling nine of those stores to Perry Drug Stores, a Michigan-based pharmacy chain. One year later, the 224-store Perry chain itself was acquired by Rite Aid.[7][8] The 1,000-store West Coast chain Thrifty PayLess was later acquired in 1996. The acquisition of Thrifty PayLess included the Northwest-based Bi-Mart membership discount stores, which was sold off in 1998. Acquisitions of Harco, Inc. and K & B Inc. brought Rite Aid into the Gulf Coast area.

In the 1990s, Rite-Aid partnered with Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Company to expand the company's presence in upstate New York.[9]

Partnership with GNC[edit]

General Nutrition Companies (GNC) and Rite Aid formed a partnership in January 1999, bringing GNC mini-stores within the Rite Aid pharmacies. A partnership with drugstore.com in June 1999 allowed customers of Rite Aid to place medical prescription orders online for same-day, in-store pickup.

Company troubles[edit]

Rite Aid had a major accounting scandal that led to the departure (and subsequent jail time) of several top ranking executives, including the CEO, Martin Grass, son of company founder Alex Grass. Former Rite Aid vice chairman Franklin C. Brown is serving a 10-year sentence in a medium-security facility at Butner Federal Correctional Complex near Raleigh, North Carolina.[10] After serving six years in prison, Martin Grass was released on January 18, 2010.[11] Founder Alex Grass died of cancer on August 27, 2009.[12]

At the time, Rite Aid had just acquired Thrifty PayLess and was integrating those into the company. As a result, Leonard Green, who ran the investment firm that had sold those stores to Rite Aid, took control of the company and placed Mary Sammons from Fred Meyer in as CEO.

In July 2001, Rite Aid agreed to improve their pharmacy complaint process by implementing a new program to respond to consumer complaints.[13]

On July 25, 2004, Rite Aid agreed to pay $7 million to settle allegations that the company had submitted false prescription claims to United States government health insurance programs.[14]

In August 2007, Rite Aid acquired approximately 1,850 Brooks/Eckerd Stores throughout the United States in hopes of improving their accessibility to a wider range of consumers. On December 21, 2007, The New York Times reported that Rite Aid had record-breaking losses that year, despite the acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd chains.[15] The following fiscal quarter saw an increase in revenue but a sharp fall in net income as Rite Aid began the integration process. Rite Aid shares fell over 75% between September 2007 and September 2008, closing at a low of $0.98 on September 11, 2008. Rite Aid shares subsequently dropped to $0.20 on March 6, 2009, the all-time low as of 8 December 2011.[4]

Scott Cole & Associates, APC filed a class action lawsuit against Rite Aid Corporation on behalf of its salaried California Store Managers. It was alleged that Rite Aid failed to pay overtime to these workers and denied them their meal and rest periods. In 2009, the action settled for $6.9 million. Scott Cole & Associates - Rite Aid Class Action

In June, 2010 John Standley was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer, with former CEO Mary Sammons retaining her position as Chairman;[16] Ken Martindale, previously co-President of Pathmark, was named Chief Operating Officer.[17]

Customer loyalty and rewards programs[edit]

The Wellness Plus card (officially rendered as wellness+) is Rite Aid's shopping rewards card that started nationwide on April 18, 2010. Membership is free, and benefits include free health and wellness benefits as well as shopping and prescription drug discounts and special prices. Earlier, in March 2005, Rite Aid had introduced Living More, a seniors' loyalty program which offered similar discounts and benefits. This program was very similar to the former Revco program which was called "Senior Shoppers" (Rite Aid had attempted to purchase Revco in 1996). The Living More program was being discontinued as of October 31, 2010, having been essentially superseded by the Wellness Plus card. However, the Wellness+ plus card now allows seniors to upgrade to the Wellness 65+ card, basically reintroducing the previous Living More benefits along with the newly created Wellness card. (2013) Also, Rite Aid hold some surveys for their loyal customers to share praise and complaint. Surveys are just like a platform where good and bad estimations are mingled together. Upon the completion of customer satisfaction survey, customers are invited to try to win the grand prize and monthly prize as a feedback.[18]

Merger with Eckerd and Brooks[edit]

On August 23, 2006 the Wall Street Journal announced that Rite Aid would be buying the Eckerd Pharmacy and Brooks Pharmacy chains (Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy) from the Quebec-based Jean Coutu Group for US$3.4 billion, and merging the two chains into one dominant pharmacy system. The company's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger on January 18, 2007.[1] After some store closures and the conversion of the two chains was completed, Rite Aid became the dominant drug store retailer in the Eastern U.S., and the third largest drug retailer nationwide (behind the faster growing Walgreens and CVS chains).

Similar to what CVS experienced in the Chicago metropolitan area after its purchase of Albertson's drug store chains, the deal gave Rite Aid some locations that were too close to each other. (Only 23 store locations nationally were sold off to Walgreens, The Medicine Shoppe, or independent owners in order to meet federal regulations.) In many situations, especially Pennsylvania where both chains were dominant and had roots in those states (Rite Aid originated in Scranton, while Eckerd has roots in Western Pennsylvania via Erie for itself and Pittsburgh for converted Thrift Drug locations), there were now two Rite Aids as close as right next door to each other. However, in March 2008 some of these overlapping stores were closed, with the locations saying that they "moved" to a new address, when in fact they "moved" to the other Rite Aid that was nearby. Most of these stores that closed were pre-existing Rite Aids from before the Eckerd deal, since Eckerd had built newer, more modern locations with drive-thru pharmacies and larger space under ownership of both J. C. Penney and Jean Coutu Group, and the "moved to" sites were converted Eckerds. Employees at the closed stores were transferred to the nearby locations, so no layoffs were necessary.

Rite Aid had sold some locations to J. C. Penney's Thrift Drug chain in the mid-1990s shortly before J.C. Penney's acquisition of Eckerd, and had also sold all of their Massachusetts stores to Brooks in 1995, bringing some existing Eckerd and Brooks stores that were once Rite Aids full circle.

Because Eckerd was previously owned by J.C. Penney, Eckerd stores accepted J.C. Penney charge cards. Since the merger, all Rite Aids accept J.C. Penney charge cards, a policy also followed by competitor CVS Pharmacy, which had earlier acquired most of the Eckerd chain in the southeastern United States.

Today, New York with 620 stores is home to the largest number of Rite Aids, followed by California and Pennsylvania with 583 and 540 respectively.[19]

Market exits[edit]

On January 4, 2008, Rite Aid Corporation announced that it would terminate its operation of the 28 Rite Aid stores in the Las Vegas, Nevada area and has signed an agreement to sell patient prescription files of the 27 stores in the Las Vegas metro market to Walgreens.[20] Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Rite Aid said it will continue to operate its remaining store in Nevada in Gardnerville, which is close to the border of California where Rite Aid has more than 600 stores. Rite Aid said Las Vegas was a non-core market for the company that has not been contributing to overall results. The company hasn't opened a new store in the Las Vegas area since 1999.[20]

On February 5, 2009, Rite Aid Corporation announced that it will terminate its operations of 12 Rite Aid stores in the San Francisco, California and Eastern Idaho areas through a sale to Walgreens. [2]

Appearance in Popular Culture[edit]

In the Family Guy episode Brian's a Bad Father, he is seen drinking Rite Aid brand whiskey.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rite Aid Reports Same Store Sales for February
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Rite Aid. Retrieved on June 19, 2010. "Contact our Home Office 30 Hunter Lane Camp Hill, PA 17011."
  3. ^ "Zoning Map." East Pennsboro Township. Retrieved on June 19, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "NYSE, New York Stock Exchange > Listings > Listings Directory" [Rite Aid Stock Price]. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  5. ^ "Alex Grass". NNBB. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Chain Drug Review, March 27, 1989 “Peoples divests its Lane units”
  7. ^ "Rite Aid, Perry grow in Michigan.". Chain Drug Review. Archived from the original on 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  8. ^ Fried, Lisa I. (1995-02-20). "Perry-Rite Aid consolidation begins". Drug Store News. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  9. ^ Breidenbach, Michelle (2010-10-10). How Carl Paladino built his Rite-Aid empire. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY). Retrieved 2010-10-10.
  10. ^ Kercheval, Nancy (2002-06-24). "Former CEO of Rite-Aid Corp. indicted on charges of fraud". The Daily Record (Baltimore). Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  11. ^ Central PA. "Jailed Rite Aid ex-CEO Martin Grass is moved to community corrections facility in anticipation of release". PennLive.com. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  12. ^ Central PA. "Alexander Grass, Rite Aid founder, laid to rest". PennLive.com. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  13. ^ "Health Plan Agrees to Improve Pharmacy Complaint Process" (Press release). Office of New York State Attorney General. 2001-07-30. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  14. ^ Department of Justice Press Release "Rite Aid to pay $7 Million for Allegedly Submitting False Prescription Claims to Government" (Press release). United States Department of Justice. 2004-06-25. 
  15. ^ "Rite Aid Reports Wider Loss and Lowers Outlook". The New York Times. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  16. ^ "Rite Aid Promotes John T. Standley to CEO, Effective June 24, 2010; Mary Sammons to Retain Position of Chairman". Rite Aid press release. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  17. ^ "Ken Martindale Promoted To Chief Operating Officer At Rite Aid". Rite Aid press release. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  18. ^ "Readsurvey". www.readsurvey.com. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  19. ^ "Rite Aid 2013 Annual Report (10-K)". SEC.gov. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Rite Aid : News

External links[edit]