Rite Aid has launched a pilot “store of the future” program in an effort to revamp its digital and in-store experience and boost foot traffic across its 2,400 store locations.
The retailer took cues from competitors to rethink its in-store and digital offerings and has focused on offering holistic health merchandise.
“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, chief operating officer, Rite Aid.
“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.”
While COVID-19 pushed the retailer to revamp its business, the rebranding efforts were in the works prior to the outbreak. The retailer has struggled to keep its competitive edge in recent years. In fact, by the end of last year, Rite Aid reported being well over $3 billion in debt.
The revamp is part of the company’s effort to stay relevant during a time when many retailers are struggling, but also from saving the business from the point of no return.
Rite Aid’s competitor Walgreens has made several efforts to amplify its offerings, including a partnership with DoorDash to offer on-demand delivery to customers in select cities and a $1 billion investment to open up to 700 primary care clinics across the country over the course of five years.
Rite Aid is looking to make similar moves and is focusing on offering personalized experiences by bringing its pharmacists out from behind the counter and into the open. The store’s pharmacists will take on the role of whole health advocates and offer up suggestions to customers to help make better health and wellness decisions.
Aside from making pharmacists more accessible, Rite Aid is launching a brand new store redesign that will feature more relevant products. For example, the company is looking to introduce more natural, chemical-free products to attract Gen Z and millennials consumers, as this particular demographic particularly craves products that are more conducive to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The company is also introducing a much airy interior filled with vibrant colors and modern signage.
On the eCommerce front, the company is looking to better compete with players such as PillPack, which was acquired by Amazon in 2019, with the launch of an all-new mobile app design. The company has launched a partnership with Instacart to help fulfill non-prescription items and is planning to enhance its omnichannel shopping experience, which includes buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) capabilities.