Rite Aid remodels on track

NEW YORK — Rite Aid has started the rollout of its new wellness store format, with 40 stores completed as of the end of the second quarter (Aug. 27, 2011). It expects to complete a total of some 300 wellness remodels in its current fiscal year, management said during a conference call with investors.

“Our new wellness format is all about empowering our customers in their pursuit of wellness,” Rite Aid president and CEO John Standley said during the call. “Customers are telling us they like the look and feel of these stores, which offer expanded clinical pharmacy services, new health and wellness product offerings and our unique on-site Wellness Ambassadors who serve as a bridge from the front end of the store to the pharmacy.”

 Standley added that the “ambassadors” are specially trained to provide customers with information on over-the-counter medications and vitamins and supplements, and are equipped with special iPad technology to assist customers in making decisions based on their individual symptoms and needs.

“Our customers have responded very favorably to this unique service and approach,” he said.