Rite Aid's RxEvolution kicks into gear

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Rite Aid’s RxEvolution is moving into a big new phase. The Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug chain on Monday unveiled its refreshed brand with an ad campaign meant to highlight its health-and-wellness focus that blends traditional medicine and alternative remedies. The refresh coincides with the rollout of the retailer’s new logo, whole-health merchandise, a new digital experience and the opening of its Store of the Future in three markets. 

So far three Stores of the Future have opened — in Elters, Pa.; Littleton, N.H.; and Moscow, Pa. on Monday. The concept store brings pharmacists out from behind the counter, which Rite Aid said enables them to be more accessible to offer advice to customers. The stores feature airy interiors, vibrant colors, modern signage and an enhanced merchandise assortment, the company said. Select stores also will feature beauty ambassadors to highlight the chain’s updated, trendy beauty mix, which focuses on natural and chemical-free offerings. 

“This is an important milestone in our relentless pursuit of becoming the preeminent whole health destination. We’re charging forward on our journey to revitalize the chain drug store experience — store by store, community by community — and today we’re ready and excited to invite customers to join us on this journey,” said Jim Peters, Rite Aid COO. “Customers will soon take notice as the look and feel of our stores is being refreshed, our merchandising mix evolves to an assortment that best supports whole health, and perhaps most importantly, our trusted neighborhood pharmacists are empowered and qualified to consult not simply on traditional medicines, but alternative remedies as well. We’re redefining an industry, and aspire to get each one of our customers to thrive.”

Central to Rite Aid’s RxEvolution is elevating its pharmacists, and it also is a central part of the company’s marketing. Its new 30-second television spot highlights its 6,300 pharmacists as being the linchpin in its fusion of medicine and alternative remedies. Rite Aid said the RxEvolution is based on the belief that pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help consumers in between physician visits by engaging them more regularly and holistically. 

“Pharmacists are perhaps the most trusted and accessible — yet underutilized — healthcare providers,” said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president and chief pharmacy officer. “Pharmacists can and do serve as the last-mile connector in the healthcare ecosystem, and are trusted healthcare experts in people’s day-to-day lives. We’re unlocking their potential so our pharmacists can shine and do what they do best: care for our communities and customers.”

“We believe our growth-target consumer values these wellness-oriented attributes over brand loyalty, and will find our Own Brand products (as we call them) to be an excellent value."
Rite Aid spokesperson

Rite Aid’s new merchandising mix has been revamped to target consumers who want products that can be part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, including more products that are organic, non-GMO, cruelty-free, clean and free of potentially harmful chemicals. Products also are shifted toward a whole-health approach in OTC, including products that can assist in such conditions as sleep support, stress relief, immune support and pain. In addition to the more accessible pharmacists, Rite Aid said front-end associates are receiving education about the new products so they can help customers find what they need. 

On the private label front, the company said its private label assortment would mirror the larget shift toward whole health. “We believe our growth-target consumer values these wellness-oriented attributes over brand loyalty, and will find our Own Brand products (as we call them) to be an excellent value,” a Rite Aid spokesperson told Store Brands. “Customers will increasingly see these products in select stores across our retail footprint, not just limited to our Store of the Future pilots.”

Rite Aid also is upgrading its digital experience. Over the past few months, the company launched a modernized online experience on its website and mobile app as part of a larger digital refresh. In addition to its existing prescription delivery options, Rite Aid has built partnerships and invested in technology to expand its omnichannel shopping options, including a partnership with Instacart on nonprescription items, and a forthcoming partnership that will expand its prescription delivery service.