Rite Aid Opens Smaller Format Store

The first-of-its-kind for the drug store chain is designed to bring much-needed pharmacy services to smaller communities.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Rite Aid officials open its new small format store in Craigsville, Va.
Rite Aid officials open its new small format store in Craigsville, Va.

Rite Aid opened its first Rite Aid Pharmacy location in Craigsville, Va., the first in a pilot program to improve access for pharmacy services in “pharmacy deserts” and underserved communities. The company plans to open two more Rite Aid Pharmacy locations in the state by early 2023.

At 3,000 square feet, the new pharmacy format will be significantly smaller than the typical Rite Aid store that averages between 11,000 and 15,000 square feet. The smaller format stores will include a full-service pharmacy and a retail assortment of health and wellness products.

“With these new smaller format pharmacy locations, we are bringing critical pharmacy services to underserved communities,” said Andre Persaud, Rite Aid’s chief retail officer. “We look forward to becoming a vital member of this community and learning from this new store model as we explore expansion to additional markets across the U.S.”

One in 10 Americans live more than five miles from the nearest pharmacy, and studies show that connection and interaction with a pharmacist is a leading factor in medication adherence, which, in turn, has a dramatic effect on health outcomes. Underutilization of medications drives $500 billion-plus each year in avoidable medical costs. Per the Rural Policy Research Institute many U.S. counties that lack a pharmacy tend to be home to a higher proportion of populations considered vulnerable – including the elderly, uninsured, unemployed, and those with income below the federal poverty level.

The Rite Aid Pharmacy in Craigsville, situated in the heart of the community next to the library, post office and town hall, will serve a critical need for the town of less than 1,000. Until now, residents have had to drive to neighboring communities for pharmacy services. The Rite Aid Pharmacy will employ a full-time pharmacist and a full-time pharmacy technician. Additional part-time pharmacy technicians will float between two area Rite Aid Pharmacy locations. 

“Pharmacists play a critical role in healthcare – providing education and counseling, screening for interactions between medications, encouraging prescription adherence and offering important preventive care like immunizations and health screenings. As a modern pharmacy, Rite Aid is committed to improving access and convenience to these important services and fostering relationships between community members and their local pharmacist,” Persaud said.

Rite Aid plans to open another Rite Aid Pharmacy location in Greenville, Va., which is also in Augusta County, in December of this year and anticipates opening another location in Scottsville, Va., early in 2023.