Rite Aid Corp. unveiled the latest incarnation of its wellness format in a grand reopening ceremony at its store in the tony Los Angeles neighborhood of Beverly Hills.

Rite Aid, Beverly Hills, wellness format, grand reopening, Los Angeles, Ken Martindale, Robert Thompson, Bob Thompson, pharmacy, Bill Romine, Lili Bosse, Larry King, Fresh Day Cafe, Thrifty Ice Cream, Beverly Hills store, Rite Aid pharmacists, wellness ambassadors

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Inside This Issue - News

New Rite Aid store a showcase for innovative concepts

July 7th, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Rite Aid Corp. unveiled the latest incarnation of its wellness format in a grand reopening ceremony at its store in the tony Los Angeles neighborhood of Beverly Hills.

On hand at the event late last month were Rite Aid’s Ken Martindale, president and chief operating officer; Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy; Bob Thompson, executive vice president of operations; and Bill Romine, senior vice president of operations for the western division, along with a throng of community leaders, including Beverly Hills mayor Lili Bosse.

Also making an appearance was longtime customer Larry King, the legendary CNN commentator and interviewer.

The completely remodeled store, located on North Canon Drive, a couple of blocks from the famed Rodeo Drive, features a range of front-end merchandising innovations. At the front of the store is the Fresh Day Cafe and patio area, which has its own entrance and offers Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf beverages, fresh baked goods, sandwiches and Rite Aid’s Thrifty ice cream. There’s also a spacious wine, spirits and beer department, including premium wine selections and a “pick a six” bottle beer display, in which customers can assemble a variety six-pack.

Just beyond the entrance is a redesigned beauty department, adorned with contemporary signage and graphics and featuring a nail bar, a lash bar, new prestige cosmetic and skin care lines, demo stations, and specially trained beauty advisers.

Throughout the store are a range of end-cap displays, spotlighting such categories as men’s grooming, smoking cessation, eyewear, costume jewelry, fitness drinks, cold beverages, seasonal items, beauty aids and over-the-counter ­medicines.

Interactivity, too, is a hallmark of the Beverly Hills store. A panoramic video wall atop the beauty department runs ocean and nature scenes and plays pleasing sounds such as running water, accentuating the store’s wellness theme. Customers can get health assessments at a higi health station in the pharmacy area and address foot care needs at a Dr. Scholl’s orthotics kiosk. Men can visually sample a new look via an iPad at the Axe display in the men’s grooming section, and all customers can access a touchscreen guide at a vitamins and supplements information center in the GNC ­department.

“This store is the latest example of our highly successful wellness store design. We’ve been aggressively evolving the wellness store format to further deliver on our mission of helping our customers achieve their individual wellness goals,” Martindale said at the event. “This store reflects our latest innovations in merchandising concepts, new products and new services.”

More than 1,300 of Rite Aid’s nearly 4,600 stores are now wellness locations, and the drug chain plans to remodel 450 stores to the format in its current fiscal year.

“With today’s health care changes, we see our role as far more than a neighborhood drug store,” Martindale noted. “We’re striving to help improve the health and well-being of the communities that we operate and live in. We believe that the right advice and support can make a difference — a personal difference — one customer at a time.”

An enlarged pharmacy is the centerpiece of the Beverly Hills store, which Rite Aid executives said is one of the chain’s highest-volume prescription locations. A path along the floor leads customers directly to the pharmacy as they enter the store.

In addition, the pharmacy houses dedicated pickup and drop-off windows, an expanded waiting area and three consultation rooms, where Rite Aid pharmacists can meet privately with patients to administer immunizations and provide other clinical services, such as medication therapy management and counseling for diabetes and other chronic conditions.

“When you look at the pharmacy here, we are really planning for the future,” said pharmacy executive Robert Thompson. “We’ve put everything we could think of into this design to provide exceptional customer service and for our vision of delivering more and more clinical services.”

Left to right: Larry King, a longtime customer of the Beverly Hills store, chats with Rite Aid's Ken Martindale and Bob Thompson at the grand reopening event.

Adjacent to the pharmacy is the wellness station, where special service associates called wellness ambassadors act as a bridge to the pharmacy and provide customers with access to information on O-T-C medications, vitamins and supplements, and Rite Aid programs and services.

The Beverly Hills store’s O-T-C department also sports enhanced signage to clearly mark the various health categories, and lighted, solutions-focused displays throughout the aisles offer guidance on such products as digestive, home care, allergy, pain relief, vaporizers, sinus congestion, cold/cough, lip care, sleep aids and heart health.

Other key elements of the Beverly Hills store include a relaxing, warm color palette accented with wood tones, an enhanced store layout, a reconfigured checkout area, an expanded section for cold beverages and refrigerated and frozen food, and a broader selection of wellness-focused offerings such as gluten-free and organic food and home fitness equipment.

“We’ve made the store much easier to navigate for everyone to be able to quickly find what they’re looking for,” said operations executive Bob Thompson.