Rite Aid unveils new branding; testing ‘store of the future’ design

Marianne Wilson

Rite Aid is piloting a new store design that puts the pharmacist up front in the shopping experience. 

The pharmacy retailer is also launching a new marketing and branding campaign, including an updated corporate logo, that embraces both traditional medicine and alternative remedies. The rebranding effort and store design pilot are part of Rite Aid's previously announced RxEvolution strategy, which is designed to transform the company “into the leading whole health destination that treats mind, body and spirit” as the retailer seeks to broaden its appeal to millennials and Gen X women.

Rite Aid has debuted in “stores of the future” format in Etters, Pa., and Littleton, N.H., and Moscow, Pa., with additional locations rolling out in select markets in the coming months. Described as a modern design concept focused on whole health, the design upends the traditional drug store experience by bringing pharmacists out from behind the counter and into the center of the space, enabling them to be easily accessible to customers. The store also has a "wellness room" where customers can schedule a visit with a licensed clinician.

The interior is airy and open, with vibrant colors, modern signage and an enhanced merchandise assortment. Beauty “ambassadors” will be on hand in select stores to offer guidance on the company's updated, beauty product mix, which includes a shift toward natural, chemical-free options. 

“The result is a store that feels like a spa-like destination for products that customers can feel good and get excited about - not the tired, traditional drug store chain experience customers have grown accustomed to,” the company said in a release.

Pharmacists also play a central role in Rite Aid’s new branding and ad campaign, which emphasizes their role as whole health advocates within their communities, leveraging the high level of trust consumers already have in pharmacists and the frequency consumers access pharmacies during their everyday routines.  

“This is an important milestone in our relentless pursuit of becoming the preeminent whole health destination,” said Jim Peters, COO, Rite Aid. “We're charging forward on our journey to revitalize the chain drug store experience -- store by store, community by community "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."

In recent months, Rite Aid also launched a digital refresh that provides customers with an elevated user experience on its e-commerce site and mobile app. 

In addition, the retailer has continued to form partnerships and invest in technology to offer customers new omnichannel shopping options. For example, a recent partnership with Instacart made delivery of non-prescription items available across the chain's entire retail footprint. Rite Aid also offers prescription delivery at most locations, and will soon announce a new partnership to expand this service.

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