Rite Aid Opens Another Small-Concept Location in Pharmacy Desert

Company seeks to improve pharmacy access in underserved communities with new format
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Rite Aid Greenville
Rite Aid's small format store program seeks to improve pharmacy access in underserved communities.

Rite Aid Corp. opened a Rite Aid Pharmacy in Greenville, Va., on Dec. 9. The store marks the company’s second Rite Aid Pharmacy location in rural Virginia as part of a pilot program to improve access for pharmacy services in “pharmacy deserts” and underserved communities by using a smaller format.

The company opened its first small-format Rite Aid Pharmacy, in Craigsville, three weeks ago. That location measures approximately 3,000 square feet, which is significantly smaller than the average 11,000- to 15,000-square-foot standard Rite Aid locations. The new Rite Aid Pharmacy in Greenville occupies approximately 2,400 square feet and resides within a business strip mall center. Both these new-format stores feature a full-service pharmacy and a retail assortment of health-and-wellness products.

“We are proud to bring vital pharmacy services to this community, making it easier for people to get the medications and products they need to stay healthy,” said Andre Persaud, Rite Aid’s chief retail officer. “Pharmacists play a vital role in the health of our communities by helping individuals understand their conditions and staying up to date on their medications and vaccinations. Our local pharmacy team in Greenville looks forward to becoming that trusted care connector and helping to improve health outcomes.”

Greenville is part of the Staunton-Waynesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area. Currently, the closest pharmacy for Greenville residents exists more than 7 miles and approximately 10 minutes away from the new Rite Aid Pharmacy location. The Rite Aid Pharmacy in Greenville, situated in the heart of the community, will serve a dire need for the town of fewer than 1,500.

The drug store chain plans to open another Rite Aid Pharmacy location, in Scottsville, Va., early next year.

Rite Aid initially revealed plans for its new smaller-format pharmacy locations during its April 14 earnings call. The new store model is part of the company’s growth strategy focused on the business of pharmacy.

The company will release financial results for its fiscal 2023 third quarter, which ended Nov. 26, on Dec. 21. For its most recent quarter, which ended Aug. 27, Rite Aid reported a net loss of $331.3 million, compared with last year’s $100.3 million. 

Philadelphia-based Rite Aid employs more than 6,300 pharmacists and operates more than 2,300 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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