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Rite Aid announces 50th anniversary customer appreciation savings

BY Jason Owen

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid announced a special series of 50th Anniversary customer appreciation savings as the culmination of RA50, its 50th anniversary celebration, which began last September. By participating in the sales events running through early March, customers can receive up to $100 in additional +UP Rewards on top of the savings they already earn through their wellness+ membership.

SVP marketing John Learish explained that the new sales events complete the company’s plan for celebrating its 50th anniversary. “We wanted RA50 to be a way to say ‘thank you’ to our customers, communities and associates for their support over the past 50 years. Our 50th Anniversary Sales Events, which offer up to $100 in additional +UP Rewards, is the perfect way to thank our most valuable customers.”

Customers can make multiple visits and purchases during each sales period to reach the reward thresholds. They can track their progress by checking their receipts or logging into their wellness+ dashboard on RiteAid.com. Participating items will be listed in a brochure available in stores, on Rite Aid’s website and on Rite Aid’s Facebook page. Participating items also will be identified by special signs at the shelf. All purchases must be made with a wellness+ card, Rite Aid’s free customer loyalty program

Rite Aid launched RA50 on Sept. 12 with the first of 50 acts of wellness in 12 markets across the country. From holding free diabetes screenings for high-risk populations and providing cribs to new mothers to stocking school nurses’ offices or relief centers in disaster-stricken areas, Rite Aid partnered with local organizations to address each community’s most pressing health and wellness needs. Rite Aid associates also volunteered nearly 10,000 hours of community service during this time in a wide variety of local activities.

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Zak Designs expands eco-friendly options

BY Jason Owen

SPOKANE, Wash. — Zak Designs is looking to expand its environmental commitment by launching a new line of dinnerware, serveware and kitchen prep items, all made from recycled melamine. The Sprinkles collection uses the same patented process Zak used in its best-selling, upscale Confetti collection, allowing the company to offer the same environmentally friendly products to the mass market.

Zak’s Sprinkles line features a complete selection of dinnerware, serveware and kitchen prep products, from serving trays and appetizer plates to nested mixing bowls and egg trays. All of the items have a unique look featuring modern lines and stylish shapes and come in five distinctive colors to coordinate with all of Zak’s everyday tableware and drinkware lines, increasing the versatility of the line.

The patented recycled melamine is produced by adding formaldehyde to melamine to produce a melamine resin, a durable, flame-resistant plastic used in Formica, laminate flooring, dry erase boards and, of course, dinnerware.

Whether using Zak’s new products alone or mixing and matching with other Zak lines, the Sprinkles collection allows consumers to not only showcase their style, but also their priority to be environmentally conscious.

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A.MARIUS says:
Sep-07-2013 08:55 am

I am glad when I hear that a company expands eco-friendly options, Zak Designs had a very good idea to create kitchen prep items from recycled melamine. I saw a couple of their products when I was shopping for a bathroom vanity, I hired the Bathroom Remodeling Baltimore team and needed to find some bathroom furniture.

S.Morgan says:
Mar-04-2013 02:31 am

Zak designs are amazing and they have done great by considering Eco friendly products which would protect our environment and at the same time look stylish and modern. This really is a great step towards having Eco friendly environment. Kitchen Remodeling

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Rite Aid is back in the black, and analysts are taking notice

BY Michael Johnsen

Rite Aid last week posted a third quarter profit of $61.9 million, marking the first time Rite Aid has been back in the quarterly black since June 2007. The quarterly report beat analyst expectations as the generic wave and retention of Express Scripts customers helped drive better-than-expected adjusted EBIDTA.

It’s certainly a timely Christmas gift that Rite Aid delivered to those shareholders who believed in the Pennsylvania pharmacy operation when it’s stock hovered around $1 per share; in the week following the third quarter conference call Rite Aid’s stock price was up some 40%.

And while that’s a pretty healthy return for those investors, the time to capitalize on their optimism may not be any time in the near future. Now trading around $1.40, that share price may still go up with more Rite Aid good news. And if you’re an avid reader of DSN (and you should be), then you know why — Rite Aid gets well, and it’s that in-depth understanding that will continue to make Rite Aid’s fundamentals even better.

A big driver behind Rite Aid’s improvement can be linked to the chain’s Wellness+ loyalty card program, which had approximately 25 million active members in the quarter, a 5% increase over the same period a year ago. It was the Wellness+ loyalty program that Rite Aid executives credited for being able to retain the “vast majority” of patients gained through the Walgreens-ESI dispute. According to the company, prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year had gained by 3.6%.

As mentioned in DSN‘s recent coverage of Rite Aid’s third-quarter conference call, Wellness+ members accounted for 76% of front-end sales in the quarter, compared with 72% in third quarter 2012, as well as 67% of prescriptions filled, compared with 66% during the same period last year. So it’s not too hard to piece it all together — that 5% increase in Wellness+ members, who incidentally are accounting for roughly the same portion of Rite Aid’s overall sales pie (with a slight improvement across the margin-friendlier front-end), has coincided with Rite Aid moving the sales ledger from red to black.

And Rite Aid is projecting there is still room for those numbers — the actual number of active card holders as well as their collective contribution to the top line — to grow.

Even as Rite Aid realizes better returns from its Wellness+ investment, that’s not the only factor that’s getting analysts to take notice of Rite Aid for calendar year 2013. As BTIG analyst Will Frohnhoefer told the AP: “I think it’s all dovetailing together in a fairly attractive way for [Rite Aid].”

“The company, which has a lot of debt, has improved its balance sheet by refinancing and helped its stores with remodeling,” he said. And Rite Aid is well positioned to capture a significant amount of the additional growth in Medicare rolls, Frohnhefer added.

“Well, I’ll be darned. This past Thursday, Rite Aid reported its first profit in five years, breaking a 21-quarter streak,” wrote Motely Fool blogger Jacob Roche. “Is the tide truly turning for Rite Aid?” Roche suggests maybe so, especially as Rite Aid management raised full-year earnings guidance from a sure loss to a modest loss and possible profit. “Even at the low end [of Rite Aid’s projections], that implies a strong improvement in the fourth quarter, historically one of the weakest,” Roche noted.

If you read on in Roche’s blog, you’ll see that Rite Aid needs to continue building its sales momentum before they maker a believer out of every analyst. But a corner has been turned. And analysts are taking notice. Because Rite Aid is back in the black, and they’re liable to stay there.

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