Rite Aid Expands "Wellness Stores" in Albertsons Deal
CAMP HILL, PA - Amidst merger happenings with Albertsons, Rite Aid executives welcome a new train of thought when it comes to the culture of its U.S. retail market, differentiating it from its competitors with a fresh focus on “food, health, and wellness.” To do this, the company announced it will expand its new Wellness Stores.
Stand-alone stores will transform into the Wellness Store format that will offer organic and gluten-free food, clinical pharmacy services, as well as other health and wellness products, Forbes reports. This aligns with a recent fourth quarter announcement from the chain in which it detailed 38 stores that went through a remodel, amounting to a total of 1,805 Wellness Stores—or two-thirds of the overall store count.
This is not the last step in this remodel process; another 132 stores will make their way through remodeling during Fiscal 2019.
Rite Aid executives look forward to the merger with Albertsons, which is expected to close during the latter end of the year. The pharmacy chain continues to grow the relationship with Albertsons after transferring 1,900 stores to the Walgreens Boots Alliance at the end of March, the news source reports. This brings the total stores that Walgreens has received to 1,932, as well as three distribution centers. Since Walgreens was unable to purchase the entire array of Rite Aid stores due to antitrust issues, the purchase for the stores and distribution centers amounts to a whopping $4.4 billion, paid in cash.
Albertsons is purchasing, in a cash and stock deal, the remaining 2,500 Rite Aids, including EnvisionRX PBM. The deal was announced earlier this year, and it will offer Rite Aid shareholders ownership between 28 percent and 29.6 percent of the combined company, the news source conveys.
Now that the two are merging, Rite Aid and Albertsons, together, will have 319 health clinics and 4,345 pharmacies under the yet-to-be-named parent company, which will make its New York Stock Exchange debut sometime this year. As a result of the merger, Rite Aid pharmacies will find a new home in Albertsons groceries, including Safeway, Vons, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, and Carrs, as well as the New York-based meal kit company Plated, the news source relays.
In its Quarterly Report, Rite Aid announced $767.1 million, or 73 cents a share for Fiscal 2018’s fourth quarter, which ended March 3rd. This is a far cry from the company’s announcement for the same quarter during 2017, which provided a $21 million net loss, or two cents a share.
The road ahead looks long and promising for the chain, as the company’s executives expressed a keen interest in growing within Albertsons stores, as well as developing freestanding stores. It is with this growth in mind that the company endeavors to offer more health clinics and supermarkets, as CVS and Walgreens continue to make their mark on the industry.
How will this merger shape up and provide new opportunities to gain fresh offerings? AndNowUKnow is looking for answers and will keep you updated with the latest industry happenings.