Rite Aid launches loyalty program nationwide

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Pharmacy chain Rite Aid launched the Wellness+ loyalty program nationwide on April 19 at the conclusion of a six-month pilot program in Buffalo, NY; Greensboro, NC; Harrisburg, PA; and San Diego. Rite Aid worked with Marc's Pittsburgh office on the initiative.

Rite Aid will support the loyalty program with a national advertising campaign incorporating TV, radio, digital and company circulars. The push, created by creative agency Marc, will begin May 2.

“The response from customers was very positive,” said Cheryl Slavinsky, director of PR for Rite Aid. “Research showed that more than 50% of front-end sales and 40% of prescriptions are now bought with the [loyalty club] card in those markets.”

The company also found that loyalty club members shopped at the chain more often and purchased more products when there, Slavinsky said.

Wellness+ members can earn 25 points for each prescription they fill at Rite Aid, and one point for every non-prescription dollar spent. At 125, 250 and 375 points, members earn a one-time-use, 10%-off shopping pass by e-mail or mail. At 500 points, members get 10% off all non-prescription regularly priced items, as well as a certificate for free blood glucose and cholesterol screenings at a local lab. Finally, at 1,000 points, consumers receive 20% off all non-prescription regularly priced Rite Aid purchases.

Rite Aid revealed last month that same-store sales were down 2.4%, with general merchandise sales dropping 2.6% and pharmacy sales decreasing 2.4%, during the company's fiscal quarter ending February 27, according to a MarketWatch report. The chain is also planning to close 80 more stores this year, according to the Associated Press.

Slavinsky added that the loyalty program will “help us differentiate from competitors.”

“We feel if we can get them into the pharmacy, we'll get them to shop the front end as well,” she said.

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