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Rite Aid Opens 4th Small-Format Store in Rural Virginia

Locations part of company’s plan to improve access to pharmacy services in underserved communities
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
rite aid pharmacy grottoes, va
Rite Aid has opened a new small-format store in Grottoes, Va.

Last week, Rite Aid Corp. opened a Rite Aid Pharmacy in Grottoes, Va., the fourth store in rural Virginia as part of a pilot program to improve access for pharmacy services in “pharmacy deserts” and underserved communities.

In the past few months, Rite Aid has opened Rite Aid Pharmacy stores in Craigsville, Greenville and Scottsville, Va. These smaller format stores feature a full-service pharmacy and a retail assortment of health and wellness products. The Grottoes location at 200 Augusta Avenue occupies close to 1,800 square feet, which is smaller than the average 11,000- to 15,000-square-foot standard Rite Aid locations.

“We are excited to introduce Rite Aid to the Grottoes community and provide vital pharmacy services and health care much closer to home,” said Rite Aid Chief Pharmacy Officer Karen Staniforth. “Pharmacists play an important role in the health of a community and can help customers understand their health conditions, stay adherent on their medications and vaccinations, and provide over-the-counter product recommendations. Our local pharmacy team in Grottoes looks forward to becoming trusted care advisors and helping customers improve their health.”

Grottoes is an incorporated town in Virginia’s Augusta and Rockingham counties. The Rockingham County portion of Grottoes is part of the Harrisonburg Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the small portion that extends into Augusta County is part of the Staunton–Waynesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The Rite Aid Pharmacy in Grottoes will serve a critical need for the town of nearly 3,000 people. Currently, the closest pharmacy for Grottoes residents exists more than 10 miles and approximately 20 minutes away from the new Rite Aid Pharmacy location.

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rite aid pharmacy grottoes, va
This is the fourth location in Rite Aid's pilot program aimed at increasing access to pharmacy services in rural Virginia communities.

Meanwhile, Rite Aid recently reported operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 4. For Q4, the company reported a net loss of $241.3 million, or $4.39 loss per share, adjusted net loss of $68.2 million, or $1.24 loss per share, and adjusted EBITDA of $128.6 million, or 2.1% of revenues. For the full year, the company experienced a net loss of $749.9 million, or $13.71 loss per share, adjusted net loss of $174.3 million, or $3.19 loss per share, and adjusted EBITDA of $429.2 million, or 1.8% of revenues. The fiscal 2023 Q4  and full year results benefited from an extra week in fiscal 2023.

Revenues for the quarter were $6.09 billion compared to revenues of $6.07 billion in the prior year’s quarter.  Revenues for the fiscal year were $24.1 billion compared to $24.6 billion in the prior year.

The drug store chain expects its adjusted EBITDA to be higher in the second half of fiscal 2024 due to timing of its performance acceleration and cost reduction initiatives. The company also expects those initiatives to drive adjusted EBITDA growth in fiscal 2025 and 2026.

Rite Aid says it's working to define the modern pharmacy by meeting customer needs with a wide range of convenient vehicles, including retail and delivery pharmacy, as well as services offered through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Elixir, Bartell Drugs and Health Dialog.

Employing more than 6,300 pharmacists, Philadelphia-based Rite Aid operates 2,300-plus retail pharmacy locations across 17 states. The company is No. 21 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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