Private Label Buyer

RiteAid PL Redesign Stands Out in a Tough Quarter

July 5, 2011

Rite Aid’s private label is a beacon of growth in the company’s fiscal 2012 first quarter which saw overall earnings fall and sales remain stagnant, company executives say.


Rollout of the company's new private brand architecture is anticipated to bring growth to the Camp Hill, Pa.-based drug store retailer's overall sales, the estimate.


"We continue to invest in private label," John Standley, chief executive officer, president and director of Rite Aid, said in a prepared statement as the company released its earnings in late June. "We've got a redesign of our brand architecture that's rolling out during this year. We've got a lot of new packaging in the store. We've done a lot to reposition it from a pricing and promotional perspective. And so I think it's going to continue to gain traction and grow as we go forward."


The company experienced private label penetration growth during the past quarter, watching it rise to 15.6 percent from 15.3 percent in the same period a year ago.


Total quarterly earnings fell to $63.1 million, a drop from the company's total earnings of $73.7 million in the same quarter one year ago. The reduction resulted from investments related to the Wellness + consumer loyalty program, the company says.


Sales for the quarter settled at $6.4 billion, flat compared to one year ago. The stunted growth in sales resulted from same store sales growth being offset by a reduction in store count, according to Standley.


The company already has converted 1,200 private label items to its new brand design. It plans to roll out 22 more.