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Rite-Aid Says Private Label Share Grows

September 26, 2012
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After posting a smaller quarterly loss than a year earlier, Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite-Aid said some of its success in its fiscal second quarter came from the expansion of penetration of its private label program.

Rite-Aid CEO John T. Standley said on a conference call with analysts last week that the retailer say its private brand share grow to 18.4 percent in the quarter, a 1.2 percent rise over the second quarter a year earlier.

“Our new and improved Rite-Aid brand architecture continued to gain traction in the second quarter as customers take advantage of the value offered by private brand items,” Standley said, according to transcripts provided by Seeking Alpha.

Front-end sales were up 1.4 percent for the quarter, although gross profit was lower. It would have been worse, though, if not for Rite-Aid’s private brand share increase.

“(It was) driven by higher-tier discount investments related to the wellness+ customer loyalty program and higher ad markdowns, partially offset by strong Rite-Aid brand penetration,” CFO Frank Vitrano told analysts.

For the quarter, Rite-Aid posted a loss of $38.8 million, or 5 cents a share, an improvement from a $92.3 million loss, or 11 cents a share, from the same quarter a year earlier.

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