Rite Aid Corp. has officially opened a newly remodeled "wellness store" in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood that's one of the first sites featuring its new "Beauty Vision" beauty concept.

Rite Aid, wellness store, Beauty Vision, Beauty Adviser, West Village, Hudson Street, Manhattan, Wellness Ambassador, beauty concept, beauty department, Mark Kramer, Judy Wray, Eddie Funkhouser, pharmacy, drug chain

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New Rite Aid wellness store debuts 'Beauty Vision'

November 20th, 2013

NEW YORK – Rite Aid Corp. has officially opened a newly remodeled "wellness store" in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood that's one of the first sites featuring its new "Beauty Vision" beauty concept.

The drug chain held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting event Tuesday at the 8,000-square-foot store, located at 534 Hudson St.

On hand were Mark Kramer, group vice president at Rite Aid, and makeup artist Eddie Funkhouser, founder of the Eddie Funkhouser beauty line, one of the premium brands featured in the Beauty Vision department.

In the evening at the store, Rite Aid held a red carpet event that enabled customers to learn about the new look of the store and its offerings, participate in free health screenings, pick up product samples and coupons and enter for their chance to win prizes.

Beauty Vision, which is being piloted in a number of stores in several markets, brings an enhanced presentation, broader product mix and more upscale offerings to the beauty department, as well as a new service associate called the Beauty Adviser.

"In select Rite Aid stores, we're offering a greater selection of beauty products, featuring premium brands like Senna Cosmetics, Alison Raffaele Cosmetics and Eddie Funkhouser," said Rite Aid category manager Judy Wray.

"With our core customer being the female, we felt an expansion and an enhancement of our beauty department made sense," she explained. "We believe our customers will enjoy learning about and trying new products. Additionally, we believe an enhanced customer experience adds to our customers well-being."

Beauty Vision builds on Rite Aid’s wellness format. Introduced in 2011, the wellness stores feature an enhanced layout and presentation, a wider selection of wellness products and resources, expanded clinical pharmacy services and personalized customer product guidance from "Wellness Ambassadors."

As part of the wellness remodels, Rite Aid also has been sharpening the look and feel of the beauty department. The second version of the wellness store, unveiled in October 2012, ushered in the Nail Bar, a freestanding nail care display that showcases top brands and the latest polish colors.

Beauty Vision incorporates some of those enhancements, according to Wray. "You'll see the illuminated displays and an enhanced version of our Nail Bar. We've also added special, eye-catching illuminated beauty graphics that add light and visual interest to the department."

And while the Wellness Ambassador focuses on customers' health, bridging the front end and pharmacy, the Beauty Adviser assists customers with their beauty needs.

"Beauty Advisers are specially trained Rite Aid associates that can help shoppers learn about the new brands as well as others across the department," Wray said. "They can also demonstrate how to use products and educate customers on beauty-related topics like color-matching and current trends."

The Hudson Street store has the beauty area located near the entrance just past checkout, where it's immediately visible to shoppers. Most prominent are the tall, circular Nail Bar with colorful graphics; an illuminated cosmetics display highlighting such brands as Senna, Eddie Funkhouser, POP Beauty and Girlactik Beauty; and fashion magazine-style photo signage throughout the department, including on endcap displays.

Also at the store is a food mart with coolers just inside the entrance that offer an array of grab-and-go foods and beverages, including yogurt, milk, juice, natural drinks, salads and sandwiches.

As part of the wellness format, the store features hundreds of new health and wellness products, including organic and/or gluten-free foods, an expanded caregiver section, all-natural personal care and home care products, fitness and workout equipment, and a bigger wellness magazine and book section.

It also incorporates some of the format's innovative merchandising, such as endcap displays for smoking cessation and the Axe men's grooming brand, which lights up as customers pass by.

The full-service pharmacy has pharmacists with special training in diabetes care, medication management and offers immunizations for about a dozen diseases, including flu, pneumonia and shingles. The store also features a private pharmacist consultation room for advanced clinical services.