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Rite Aid targeting net new store growth for the future

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK – Rite Aid is headed toward a full-fledged growth mode, John Standley, Rite Aid chairman and CEO, told analysts at the 2015 Citi Global Consumer Conference Thursday afternoon. The company had opened its first net new store in five years this past March, and Standley promised there would be plenty more net new stores in the chain's future as Rite Aid fills out those markets where it is decidedly understored. 
 
"We have an effort underway to rebuild our real estate pipeline," Standley said, noting that the company will continue to invest in remodels and file buys, "but we're also going to ramp up store relocations … and we're also going to begin opening net new stores as we go forward." 
 
Standley reported that Rite Aid has a number of existing markets where there are fill-in opportunities. "There are a number of markets where we're No. 3 in marketshare, and the reason we're No. 3 is we're No. 3 marketshare in store counts," he said. The idea is if Rite Aid is able to better saturate some of those markets, it's going to raise the performance bar for all of the stores in that market. "Markets where we are No. 1 or No. 2, we are very profitable in," Standley said. "They're very successful markets for us."
 
"Once we work our way through that opportunity, which will take us a couple years, we will begin to look at net new markets over time. But early priorities are relocations and fill-ins where we have some great growth opportunities. I'm pretty excited about ramping up these store growth opportunities," Standley said. 
 
Of course, to ensure the success of those net new stores, Rite Aid will need to fill those stores with patients. And while the company will be turning to traditional means to leverage those new store investments in the form of prescription file buys, Rite Aid has another patient generator that will be put into play when it closes the deal (possibly in the next 60 days) on its acquisition of PBM EnvisionRx. "We … think there is a really exciting opportunity to just organically grow EnvisionRx," Standley said. "Today it does about $5 billion in revenues, but by combining EnvisionRx with the Rite Aid brand, we think it's going to give it much broader national exposure than it has received in the past."
 
That creates a virtuous circle. "As we grow the assett, obviously, Rite Aid should over time gain access to more customers and patients, which is another synergy that pops out of this combination," Standley added.
 
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Rexall taps Canadian drug store vet for CEO role

BY Antoinette Alexander

EDMONTON — Katz Group has announced the appointment of former Shoppers Drug Mart executive Jürgen Schreiber as CEO of Rexall Health, a newly-established banner under which all of Katz Group’s health-related companies will operate. Schreiber will join the company in August.

“Jurgen has been a consultant to our health-related businesses for the past two years as a member of our advisory board. We know first-hand that he brings world-class expertise, deep knowledge of the Canadian health and pharmacy sector, and a track record of success,” stated Katz Group founder and chairman, Daryl Katz. “We consider ourselves very fortunate to welcome him to the Katz Group in this new role.

In the wake of the departure of former CEO Frank Scorpiniti last October, Warren Jeffery, COO, had assumed day-to-day operational responsibilities.

Schreiber is highly experienced in the global retail pharmacy, health and beauty sectors, including four years as president and CEO of Canadian retailer Shoppers Drug Mart from 2007 to 2011. Prior to joining Katz Group, Schreiber served for four years as president and CEO of Edcon Group, a non-food retailer in South Africa, with 1,400 stores and approximately 20,000 employees across Africa.  Prior to these appointments, Schreiber spent many years establishing himself as an innovative and accomplished retail and FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) executive in multi-national businesses based in Europe and Asia, operating in more than 23 countries.

“I have great admiration for what Daryl and the team at Rexall have built, and I’m very excited by the opportunity to help grow this exceptional business,” stated Schreiber. “I was attracted by Rexall’s obvious strength in the Canadian market, its innovative approach of providing a broad array of health care and related services to its customers and patients, and the very significant growth opportunities in the evolving Canadian marketplace. Bringing the Katz Group’s other health-related businesses under the Rexall Health banner creates additional growth opportunities to bundle services to meet the needs of our customers.”

Rexall Health includes the following independently-operated businesses:

•    Rexall/Rexall Pharma Plus, a Canadian retail pharmacy chain operating under the 100 year old Rexall banner. The chain employs more than 8,600 people at more than 460 locations across Canada;

•    Medicentres Canada, a group of family health care clinics where family physicians and specialists practice in order to bring comprehensive, quality and accessible health care services to individuals and families in the communities of Edmonton, Calgary, London and Windsor; and

•    Claimsecure, a healthcare management and technology firm that has been providing customized, value added health benefit claims management and plan administrative services to Canadian corporations and other health benefit plan sponsors for more than 30 years.

 

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Fruth Pharmacy to provide digital audio Rx labels

BY Antoinette Alexander

POINT PLEASANT, W. Va. — Fruth Pharmacy has unveiled new technology to make prescription label reading easier for the visually impaired by partnering with AccessaMed to bring a special prescription label into all 26 Fruth Pharmacy locations.


AccessaMed’s prescription bottle has helped bridge the gap for the visually impaired and other patients that have difficulty reading a label by providing a digital audio label that will speak to the patient.  The label permanently adheres to the prescription bottle or package. A patient pushes a button on the new electronic label and instructions for taking the medicine will be provided to the patient in a clear and robust voice. The digital audio label does not require expensive or complicated reading systems for users. The printed label will also continue to be on the prescription bottle for caregivers or others offering assistance.


“We saw a need in the community with several of our patients,” stated Tim Weber, Fruth Pharmacy VP of pharmacy. “We started researching a way to resolve this issue to help visually impaired patients with medication adherence.  Persons unable to read or understand printed text will also find this technology beneficial.  AccessaMed™ helped us fill our communities’ needs.”

 

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