Rite Aid

Last updated
Rite Aid Corporation
Thrift D Discount Center (1962–1968)
Traded as NYSE:  RAD
Russell 2000 Component
Industry Retail
FoundedSeptember 12, 1962;56 years ago (1962-09-12)
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Founder Alex Grass
Headquarters Camp Hill, East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States
Number of locations
2,525 (Q3 2018) [1]
Key people
Products Pharmacy
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$21.64 billion(2019) [3]
Decrease2.svgUS$-667 million(2019) [3]
Decrease2.svgUS$-422.2 million(2019) [3] .
Total assets Decrease2.svgUS$7.591 billion(2019) [3]
Total equity Decrease2.svgUS$1.187 billion(2019) [3]
Number of employees
53,100 (2019) [3]
Website www.riteaid.com

Rite Aid Corporation is a drugstore chain in the United States. The company ranked No. 94 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. [4] It is headquartered in Camp Hill, East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. [5] [6] Rite Aid is the largest drugstore chain on the East Coast and the third largest in the U.S.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

<i>Fortune</i> 500 Annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine

The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along with privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available. The concept of the Fortune 500 was created by Edgar P. Smith, a Fortune editor, and the first list was published in 1955. The Fortune 500 is more commonly used than its subset Fortune 100 or superset Fortune 1000.

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Camp Hill is a borough in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States, 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Harrisburg. It is part of the Harrisburg–Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,888 at the 2010 census. There are many large corporations based in nearby East Pennsboro Township and Wormleysburg that use the Camp Hill postal address, including the Rite Aid Corporation, Harsco Corporation, and Gannett Fleming.


Rite Aid began in 1962, opening its first store in Scranton, Pennsylvania; it was called Thrift D Discount Center. After several years of growth, Rite Aid adopted its current name and debuted as a public company in 1968. As of 2019, Rite Aid is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RAD. Its major competitors are CVS and Walgreens. In late 2015, Walgreens announced that it would acquire Rite Aid for $9.4 billion pending approval. However, on June 29, 2017, over fear of antitrust regulations, Walgreens Boots Alliance announced it would buy roughly half of Rite Aid's stores for $5.18 billion. [7] [8] On September 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a fourth deal agreement to purchase Rite Aid with 1,932 stores for $4.38 billion total. [9]

Scranton, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat and largest city of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley and hosts a federal court building for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. With a population of 77,291, it is the largest city in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 570,000.

Public company Company that offers its securities for sale to the general public

A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are freely traded on a stock exchange or in over-the-counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be listed or unlisted.

CVS Pharmacy U.S. pharmacy chain

CVS Pharmacy is a subsidiary of the American retail and health care company CVS Health, headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. It was also known as, and originally named, the Consumer Value Store and was founded in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1963. The chain was owned by its original holding company Melville Corporation since its inception until its current parent company was spun off into its own company in 1996. CVS Pharmacy is currently the largest pharmacy chain in the United States by number of locations and total prescription revenue. Its parent company ranks as the 7th largest U.S. corporation by FY2017 revenues in the Fortune 500. The parent company of CVS Pharmacy's leading competitor (Walgreens) ranked 19th for the same time period.


Alex Grass founded the Rite Aid chain in Scranton, Pennsylvania in September 1962, [10] after marrying into Harrisburg Pennsylvania's Lehrman family in the early 1950s. [11] The first store was called Thrift D Discount Center. [12] The store expanded into five additional states in 1965 and went public as Rite Aid in 1968. [13] [14] It moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1970.[ citation needed ] Rite Aid is one of Fortune 500's Largest U.S. Corporations. [15]

Alexander Grass was an American businessman and lawyer who founded Rite Aid, one of the United States' largest drugstore chains.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

New York Stock Exchange American stock exchange

The New York Stock Exchange is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$30.1 trillion as of February 2018. The average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion in 2013. The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978.

Growth and acquisitions

Rite Aid store in Scott Depot, West Virginia in June 2006. This location is soon to be converted into a Walgreens. Rite Aid, Scott Depot, WV.jpg
Rite Aid store in Scott Depot, West Virginia in June 2006. This location is soon to be converted into a Walgreens.

Ten years after its first store opened, Rite Aid operated 267 locations in 10 states. In 1981 Rite Aid became the third-largest retail drugstore chain in the country. 1983 marked a sales milestone of $1 billion. A 420-store acquisition along the east coast expanded Rite Aid's holdings beyond 2,000 locations, as did the acquisition of Gray Drug in 1987. Among the companies acquired was Baltimore, Maryland's Read's Drug Store. On April 10, 1989, Peoples Drug's 114 unit Lane Drug of Ohio was purchased by Rite Aid. [16]

Gray Drug was a drugstore chain in Cleveland, Ohio. The chain began in 1912 and grew to 46 stores by 1946 and over 100 by the 1970s. Besides Ohio, stores later opened in Florida and Maryland. The chain later acquired Drug Fair in 1981, shortly before Sherwin Williams bought the chain. Gray Drug acquired several Cunningham Drug stores in 1982.

Baltimore Largest city in Maryland

Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 602,495 in 2018, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.

Peoples Drug

Peoples Drug was a chain of drugstores based in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1905, Peoples was subsequently purchased by Lane Drug in 1975, Imasco in 1984, and finally by CVS in 1990, which continued to run the stores under the Peoples banner until 1994, at which time the stores were converted to CVS, marking the end of the use of the Peoples Drug name.

Rite Aid acquired twenty-four Hook's Drug stores from Revco in 1994, selling nine of those stores to Perry Drug Stores, a Michigan-based pharmacy chain. One year later, in turn, the 224-store Perry chain was acquired by Rite Aid. [17] [18] The 1,000-store West Coast chain Thrifty PayLess was later acquired in 1996. The acquisition of Thrifty PayLess included the Northwest-based Bi-Mart membership discount stores, which was sold off in 1998. Acquisitions of Harco, Inc. and K&B, Inc. brought Rite Aid into the Gulf Coast area.

Hooks Drug Stores American pharmacy

Hook's Drug Stores was an Indianapolis, Indiana-based drug store chain which was founded in 1900 by John A. Hook. The chain flourished throughout central Indiana for most of the 20th-century.

Perry Drug Stores

Perry Drug Stores was an American retail pharmacy chain founded in 1957 in the city of Pontiac, Michigan, United States. At its peak in the 1980s, Perry operated more than 200 drug stores, primarily in the state of Michigan, as well as 200 Auto Works auto parts stores and fourteen A. L. Price discount health and beauty aids outlets.

West Coast of the United States Coastline

The West Coast or Pacific Coast is the coastline along which the continental Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. As a region, this term most often refers to the coastal states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. More specifically, it refers to an area defined on the east by the Alaska Range, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, and Mojave Desert, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The United States Census groups the five states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii together as the Pacific States division.

In the 1990s, Rite Aid partnered with Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Co. to expand the company's presence in upstate New York. [19]

Carl Paladino American politician

Carl Pasquale Paladino is an American businessman and political activist. Paladino is the chairman of Ellicott Development Co., a real estate development company he founded in 1973.

Ellicott Development Co. is an American property management, leasing and development real estate firm based in Buffalo, New York and led by CEO William Paladino. The company's asset base includes residential, commercial, hotels, parking garages, and convenience stores. Ellicott Development Co.’s services include legal, administrative, financial, management, accounting, development, site selection, site assemblage, architectural design and drafting services, construction, leasing, maintenance, janitorial and security services.

Upstate New York region of the U.S. state of New York north of the core of the New York metropolitan area

Upstate New York is the portion of the American state of New York lying north of the New York metropolitan area. The Upstate region includes most of the land area of the state of New York, but a minority of the state's population; it excludes New York City and Long Island, although the precise boundary is debated. Major cities in Upstate New York include Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and Syracuse.

In 2015, Rite Aid purchased EnvisionRx, a pharmacy benefit manager, which owns subsidiary PBMs MedTrak, Connect Health Solutions, and Smith Premier Services. [20]


General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and Rite Aid formed a partnership in January 1999, bringing GNC mini-stores within the Rite Aid pharmacies. A partnership with drugstore.com in June 1999 allowed customers of Rite Aid to place medical prescription orders online for same-day, in-store pickup.

Company troubles

At the time, Rite Aid had just acquired Thrifty PayLess and was integrating the stores into the company. As a result, Leonard Green, who ran the investment firm that had sold those stores to Rite Aid, took control of the company and installed Mary Sammons from Fred Meyer as CEO.

In July 2001, Rite Aid agreed to improve their pharmacy complaint process by implementing a new program to respond to consumer complaints. [21]

On July 25, 2004, Rite Aid agreed to pay $7 million to settle allegations that the company had submitted false prescription claims to United States government health insurance programs. [22]

In August 2007, Rite Aid acquired approximately 1,850 Brooks and Eckerd Stores throughout the United States in hopes of improving their accessibility to a wider range of consumers. On December 21, 2007, The New York Times reported that Rite Aid had record-breaking losses that year, despite the acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd chains. [23] The following fiscal quarter saw an increase in revenue but a sharp fall in net income as Rite Aid began the integration process. Rite Aid shares fell over 75% between September 2007 and September 2008, closing at a low of $0.98 on September 11, 2008. Rite Aid shares subsequently dropped to $0.20 on March 6, 2009, the all-time low as of 4 December 2018. [24]

Rite Aid had a major accounting scandal that led to the departure (and subsequent jail time) of several top ranking executives, including CEO Martin Grass. After serving six years in prison, Martin Grass was released on January 18, 2010. [25] Founder Alex Grass died of cancer on August 27, 2009. [26]

In June 2010, John Standley was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer, with former CEO Mary Sammons retaining her position as Chairperson; [27] Ken Martindale, previously co-President of Pathmark, was named Chief Operating Officer. [28]

In October 2018, a former Rite Aid vice president of advertising and two co-owners of Nuvision Graphics Inc. plead guilty to in a $5.7 Million kick-back scheme defrauding Rite Aid. [29] [30] [31]

Customer loyalty and rewards programs

The wellness+ card is Rite Aid's free shopping rewards card that started nationwide on April 18, 2010. It became a part of the newly launched American Express-backed Plenti rewards program in May 2015. Rite Aid introduced wellness+ BonusCash on January 1, 2018. Customers can no longer earn Plenti points; instead, they earn BonusCash that can only be redeemed at Rite Aid. However, Rite Aid would remain a part of the Plenti rewards program, which would end on July 10, 2018.

Merger with Eckerd and Brooks

Interior of a Rite Aid store in San Ramon, California in March 2017 Rite Aid, San Ramon, CA 10 2017-03-04.jpg
Interior of a Rite Aid store in San Ramon, California in March 2017
A map of all Rite Aid stores as of September 2015 Rite Aid footprint.png
A map of all Rite Aid stores as of September 2015
Former Eckerd Logo until 2006 Eckerd logo.svg
Former Eckerd Logo until 2006

On August 23, 2006, the Wall Street Journal announced that Rite Aid would be buying the Eckerd Pharmacy and Brooks Pharmacy chains (Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy) from the Quebec-based Jean Coutu Group for US$3.4 billion, and merging the two chains into one dominant pharmacy system. The company's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger on January 18, 2007. [32] After some store closures and the conversion of the two chains was completed, Rite Aid became the dominant drug store retailer in the Eastern U.S., and the third largest drug retailer nationwide (behind the faster-growing Walgreens and CVS chains).

Similar to what CVS experienced in the Chicago metropolitan area after its purchase of Albertsons drug store chains, the deal gave Rite Aid stores that were too close to each other. (Only 23 stores nationally were sold to Walgreens, The Medicine Shoppe, or independent owners to meet federal regulations.) In many situations, especially in Pennsylvania, where both chains were dominant and had roots in the Commonwealth (Rite Aid originated in Scranton; Eckerd began in Erie, while Thrift Drug was popular in the Pittsburgh area), there were, in some cases, neighboring Rite Aid stores. However, in March 2008, some of these overlapping stores were closed. Most of these stores that closed were pre-existing Rite Aids from before the Eckerd deal, since Eckerd had built newer, more modern stores with drive-through pharmacies and larger space under ownership of both JCPenney and Jean Coutu Group; and the "moved to" sites were converted Eckerds. Employees at the closed stores were transferred to nearby ones, so no layoffs were necessary.

Rite Aid had sold some stores to JCPenney's Thrift Drug chain in the mid-1990s shortly before JCPenney's acquisition of Eckerd and had also sold all of their Massachusetts stores to Brooks in 1995, bringing some existing Eckerd and Brooks stores that were once Rite Aids full circle.

Because Eckerd was previously owned by JCPenney, Eckerd stores accepted JCPenney charge cards. Since the merger, all Rite Aids take JCPenney charge cards, a policy also followed by competitor CVS pharmacy, which had earlier acquired most of the Eckerd chain in the southeastern United States.

With the acquisition of Brooks Eckerd, at its peak in 2008, Rite Aid had a total of 5,059 stores and employed 112,800 people. [33]

Market exits

On January 4, 2008, Rite Aid Corporation announced that it would terminate operation of its 28 Rite Aid stores in the Las Vegas, Nevada, area and had signed an agreement to sell patient prescription files from that metro market to Walgreens. The company said Las Vegas was a non-core market that had not been contributing to overall results, and it had not opened a new store there since 1999. One Nevada store would remain open in Gardnerville, near the California border, where Rite Aid at the time had more than 600 stores. [34]

On February 5, 2009, Rite Aid announced that it would terminate operations of seven Rite Aid stores in San Francisco, along with five stores in eastern Idaho through a sale to Walgreens. [35]

Sale of stores to Walgreens

Displays in a Rite Aid store in Rose Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia in September 2018. This location is soon to be converted into a Walgreens. Aisles and goods in the Rose Hill Rite Aid.jpg
Displays in a Rite Aid store in Rose Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia in September 2018. This location is soon to be converted into a Walgreens.

On October 27, 2015, Walgreens announced that it would acquire Rite Aid in a deal valued at $9.4 billion ($9 per share), pending regulatory and shareholder approval. The deal would have resulted in a merger of two of the United States' three largest pharmacy chains. [36] Walgreens planned to keep the Rite Aid name on existing stores when the deal went through, [37] though the long term plans for the Rite Aid name were unknown. On December 21, 2016, it was announced that Fred's would acquire 865 Rite Aid stores as a result of the merger for $950 million, for antitrust reasons. [38] In January 2017, Rite Aid and Walgreens cut the price of the merger to approximately $6.8 billion and delayed the merger by six months. [39] On January 31, 2017, it was reported that the workers' union 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, representing 6,000 Rite Aid Corp workers, was opposed to the sale of the Rite Aid stores to Fred's Inc. [40]

On June 29, 2017, Walgreens (WBA) announced the merger was cancelled, adding that it would be purchasing 2,186 stores from Rite Aid for $5.2 billion plus a $325 million penalty for cancelling. Most experts had thought that the merger would be completed within a few weeks. The merger would have had about 46% of the market share. [41] The revised deal—now not including Fred's at all—effectively would have seen Rite Aid exit the Southeastern United States. [42]

On September 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a fourth deal agreement, this time allowing Walgreens to purchase only 1,932 Rite-Aid stores for $4.38 billion. [9] The sale was completed on March 27, 2018. Three distribution centers and related inventory will be transferred after September 1, 2018, when the stores will be rebranded to Walgreens. The 1,932 stores have banners saying "Pharmacy now operated by Walgreens" in the meantime.

As of fiscal year 2018, California with 570 stores is home to the largest number of Rite Aids, followed by Pennsylvania and New York with 529 and 321 respectively. [43] [44]

Attempted acquisition by Albertsons

On February 20, 2018, Albertsons announced plans to acquire the remainder of Rite Aid, including the 2,600 stores not acquired by Walgreens, in a merger of equals, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. [45] [46] On August 8, 2018, Rite Aid announced that the plan had failed to please shareholders and the proposed acquisition would be cancelled. [47]


For the second quarter of 2019, Rite Aid reported basic and diluted earnings of -0.34 per share. This is significantly down from prior quarters' report of .20 per share. [48]

in thousands USD$
Net income
in thousands USD$
Total Assets
in thousands USD$



Hall v. Rite Aid Corporation

In the employee seating lawsuit (Hall v. Rite Aid Corporation, San Diego County Superior Court), the parties reached a class action settlement for $18 million plus institution of a two-year pilot seating program for front-end checkstands. On September 14, 2018, the Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement. On November 16, 2018, the court granted final approval of the settlement. [50]

In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation

As reported by Rite Aid, the company is a defendant in the consolidated multidistrict litigation proceeding, In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Various plaintiffs (such as counties, cities, hospitals, and third-party payors) allege claims concerning the impacts of widespread opioid abuse against defendants along the pharmaceutical supply chain, including manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and retail pharmacy chains. [50]

Byron Stafford v. Rite Aid Corp. and Robert Josten v. Rite Aid Corp.

As reported by Rite Aid, the company is involved in two consumer class action lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging that it has overcharged customers’ insurance companies for prescription drug purchases, resulting in overpayment of co-pays. [50]

See also

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